Plans for a new €7m cable car and visitors centre at Dursey Island have been published by Cork County Council.
The council has partnered with Fáilte Ireland to develop a major upgrade of Ireland's only cable car.
The Dursey Island Cable Car is located at the western tip of the Beara Peninsula in west County Cork.
Originally constructed in 1969 at the western tip of the Beara Peninsula, the cable car was used to transport island inhabitants, farmers and livestock to and from the mainland. The cableway is now predominantly used by tourists, particularly during the summer months.
In recent years, limited passenger capacity and turnaround of the cableway mean that during the peak months of July and August, queuing times for the cable car reach up to two hours on both the island and mainland.
The council plans to decommission the existing system and build a new cable car with a maximum capacity of 200 to 300 passengers per hour in each direction
On the mainland, it is proposed to construct a new 100-space visitor car park, an interpretive exhibition space (‘Visitor Centre’) and an 84-seater café. The visitor centre would only open during the tourist season.
On Dursey Island, a new station and associated welfare facilities and waiting area will be constructed alongside the existing platform.
In anticipation of greater visitor numbers, the narrow roadway will also be upgraded creating 10 'passing bays' for vehicles.
It has been projected that the proposed development will facilitate an anticipated annual maximum of 80,000 visitors to Dursey Island per year.
Dursey Island is one of 7 inhabited islands off the coast of west Co. Cork. It currently has just two year-round residents and is at risk of depopulation in the short to medium-term.
Cork County Council has lodged the plans with An Bord Pleanála and the public have until October 25 to view the plans and make a submission.