Saturday 18 November 2017

Tiny snail puts Trump's Doonbeg 'wall' on hold

The Doonbeg resort
The Doonbeg resort

Gordon Deegan

A tiny protected snail has emerged as the latest major stumbling block to the Trump family's plan to install a rock barrier to protect parts of their Doonbeg golf links resort.

The contentious 28,000-tonne rock plan is said to be required as "a matter or urgency" to protect three holes at the Trump resort.

But in requesting a raft of further information yesterday, Clare County Council said that there are concerns over the impact the Trump rock barrier will have on the 2mm Vertigo angustior.

The species, which has been afforded protection under EU environmental law, is present at the dune system at Doughmore beach.

The council has requested the Trump firm, TIGL Ireland Enterprises Ltd, to submit a revised Natural Impact Statement (NIS) to examine the hydrological effects of the proposed development on the snail.

The council has also told the Trump firm that the submitted NIS "is not considered to present a scientific justification" for the planned rock barrier.

While it is acknowledged that the current proposal is a reduction on the plan withdrawn by the resort in December, "concerns still remain" over the rock barrier's impact on the beach.

There are also concerns over the dune dynamics and the adjoining Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

The scale of the further information required looks set to delay the project by a number of months - although the level of opposition against the plan will result in An Bord Pleanála ultimately deciding the fate of the project.

The golf club says that doing nothing will bring the entire viability of the resort and its potential closure into question.

But the council states that the golf club's 'scenario' "is not considered to be substantiated by scientific data or analysis".

The council has also told the Trump firm that the full range of potential effects of the proposed development on the Carrowmore Dunes SAC has not been clearly identified.

"The NIS does not sufficiently address the potential risk that the entire length of the beach and dune face could potentially be impacted by the proposed development throughout the various stages of construction and operation," says the council.

"The applicant has been told twice now in polite language that his proposal is clearly against the legally binding conservation objectives (of the SAC)," said Tony Lowes, of Friends of the Irish Environment.

"This developer is banging his head against a wall."

Irish Independent

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