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Later deadline needed for hotel demolition

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The derelict Bayview hotel, Courtown

The derelict Bayview hotel, Courtown

The derelict Bayview hotel, Courtown

Councillors argued that the owner of the derelict Bayview Hotel should be given more time to complete works at the site as it would be 'impossible' to complete the necessary at the height of the tourist season.

The matter was discussed at last week's meeting of the Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District after Cllr Andrew Bolger asked for an update on the derelict Courtown landmark.

District Manager Michael Drea read a note from Tom Banville of Wexford County Council, which explained that a notice was issued to the owner of the site in December 2019. This requested that demolition be arranged and completed within three weeks time, but it was later concluded that this time frame was perhaps unrealistic in terms of the tender, procurement and demolition completion being done.

Some clearing away works had started in 2020, but no substantial demolition had started before the Covid-19 lockdown in March.

Mr Drea said that restrictions on inspections of derelict or dangerous structures during lockdown had now ceased and the Council is now inspecting and enforcing notices but that the owner of the site was restricted during the eight-week period up to the end of May.

A new deadline for completion of works had been given as August 31, with the owner having to make sure the site was safe and secure in the meantime before a formal inspection. Legal action would be taken if there was a failure to comply, and the work was not complete by the new deadline, the members were told.

However, Councillors argued that this date should be extended, as it was unrealistic to expect heavy machinery to go in on site during the height of the tourist season.

Cllr Pip Breen started this discussion which brought widespread agreement.

'The place is black with people, all out on the square and bringing in trucks and diggers into Courtown at that time will have to be rethought, and if possible extend the deadline to the end of September. It's impossible to do the work in Courtown with so many people around,' he said.

Cllr Diarmuid Devereux said that there was no way in the month of August works like this could even be considered in the interest of public safety.

Cllr Joe Sullivan said those expecting it to be done by August 31 are 'living on a different planet'.

'Anyone who suggests this must feel totally detached from what's going on in the real world. Courtown is a holiday resort and this time frame is ridiculous. There will be plenty of time in October when there'll be no one down there and Courtown itself will be a derelict site,' he said.

Cllr Anthony Donohoe agreed, saying that would cause chaos.

On the topic of derelict sites, Cllr Willie Kavanagh raised the issue of a site in Olyegate, while Cllr Breen mentioned another in Ballygarrett.

Mr Drea said that Tom Banville would be invited to the September meeting to answer questions on the state of development on every derelict or dangerous site in the district.

In the meantime, a spokesperson for the planning section said that the views expressed by councillors would be passed on.

Cllr Donal Kenny was critical of the treatment of sites in the district, highlighting three sites on Station Road, Garden City and Eyre Street in Gorey.

'Not only is it a health and safety issue but it's also an eyesore. I'm a year in this job now and we don't seem to be a day closer to achieving our goal. It's high time that the Council took the bull by the horns and did something about it to make some moves. They're all prime locations and it's a disgrace,' he said.

Gorey Guardian