Blarney Castle operators launch High Court challenge to development of primary care centre

The site is 236m from the boundary of the castle estate and about 480m from the castle itself.
Blarney Castle operators launch High Court challenge to development of primary care centre

Mr Justice Charles Meenan deemed a second challenge by the partnership to a primary care centre, adjoining the commercial/residential development, to have been opened before him within the required times limits. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The operators of Blarney Castle, who include castle owner Sir Charles Colthurst, are bringing a High Court challenge over a second development near the Cork tourist attraction.

Last week, the Blarney Castle Estate Partnership, comprising Sir Charles and Flintcroft Ltd, was given permission by the court to challenge permission for a hotel, residential development on the former Blarney Park Hotel site, which is 200 metres from the attraction.

Today, Mr Justice Charles Meenan deemed a second challenge by the partnership to a primary care centre, adjoining the commercial/residential development, to have been opened before him within the required times limits.

He adjourned the question of granting leave in this challenge to next month. The case is against An Bord Pleanála with the developers of the primary care centre, JAW Asset Holdings Ltd, a notice party.

The first challenge relates to a development for an 80-bedroom hotel, licensed supermarket, commercial/office buildings, coffee shop and 70 residential units at St Ann's Road Monacnapa, Blarney, Co Cork.

The developers of that are Irish Conference and Leisure Holdings Ltd.

It received planning permission for the development from An Bord Pleanála on December 14 last.

The castle partnership claims, among other things, that development would seriously detract from the character of the castle and Blarney Town Centre.

It would also seriously undermine the sustainable development of the area by harming its status as a major tourist attraction, it claims.

The board, on December 23 last, also granted a separate permission to JAW Asset Holdings for a three-storey primary care centre with five ground floor retail units and a café on a site of just over a hectare immediately adjoining the commercial/residential development.

In its second separate judicial review challenge, the castle partnership claims the primary care centre development site lies at "an important gateway to Blarney's historic town centre for visitors arriving from Kerry and the west along the designated Scenic Route S39".

The site is 236m from the boundary of the castle estate and about 480m from the castle itself.

The castle partnership claims, among other things, the board's own inspector recommended refusal of the primary care centre, citing concerns including that it would visually dominate the gateway to Blarney town and represented piecemeal development. The board gave inadequate reasons for its decision to approve the plan, the castle partnership claims.

There was also a failure to consider that it was a contravention of the Blarney local area plan policies for the protection of tourism and there was a failure to carry out a valid screening process in breach of our planning legislation and the EU Habitats Directive, it is claimed.

There was also a misinterpretation of the development plan and a failure to have regard to the impact of the development on Blarney Castle, it is further claimed.

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