MAJOR plans for the development of Schull Harbour will depend on securing funding from three possible sources, a meeting of the Municipal District of West Cork was told.
The plan, by Schull Community Harbour Development Company Ltd, includes a pontoon marina with 225 berths and service berths, a 10m wide slipway, a public promenade and walkways, as well as a car park for 130 cars.
The three sources being targeted for funds include the EU, Fáilte Ireland and a coastal infrastructure programme run by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.
Sarah Synott, Cork County Council area engineer for the area, told councillors that the planning permission which was granted in 2007 has now has been extended until 2022. However, a foreshore lease application must be awarded before work can start on the pier, foreshore and breakwaters.
‘It’s great to see Cork County Council support it, but there have to be other bodies involved in funding for this,’ said Ms Synott.
‘This is a project that could be rolled out in a few months. We are working with the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine on this, but it’s not a Cork County Council project, as it’s owned by Schull Community Harbour Development Company Ltd, which is a private company,’ she pointed out.
Councillors were told that Cork County Council has agreed to allocate €375,000 to match public funding of €1.125m and has agreed to facilitate the pier works to enable the project.
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) raised a motion at the meeting calling on the Council to make the Schull Harbour Development its number priority in Cork county for the next couple of years.
Cllr Collins said the development of Schull harbour would be a great tourist boost for the area and would extend the tourist season and hoped that the ‘people of Schull can see light at the end of the tunnel.’
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said that if the facilities were put in place it would pay back ten-fold.
‘Baltimore is an example of an excellent facility and we need the same facilities in Schull, which is very much dependent on tourism,’ said Cllr Carroll.
Council official Mac Dara Ó h-Icí said this is an excellent example of Cork County Council working with a local body to develop a harbour and it has committed funding to the project.
Cllr O’Sullivan (FF) said that this project needs to get over the line to tap into the potential of West Cork for tourism.
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) reiterated the huge potential for the area and said that the Council have put ‘money on the table and it’s now up to others to do the same.’ Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) said Schull is a great tourist village and the benefits of marine leisure for the area would be huge.