One of the main men behind the Garrarus golf course development in Tramore has shelved plans for a similar project in County Wicklow.
Harlequin Holdings, owned by Kildare property developer Jerry Conlon, had intended constructing a €100m luxury golf and hotel complex at Brittas Bay.
However, with planners recommending that permission be refused, the application Harlequin put forward in partnership with the Brennan Hotel Group was withdrawn a day before Wicklow County Council was due to make its decision.
The Ardanairy proposal would have included a 142-suite hotel; an 18-hole golf course, holiday cottages; a three-storey sports academy, four all-weather pitches and 356 parking spaces.
The application had been with the council since August. In her report, planner Elizabeth Bolger said the proposed development was in an area of outstanding natural beauty which could be eroded should it go ahead.
As well as contravening the council’s settlement strategy, local road and water infrastructure was insufficient for such a large development and the environmental impact statement was inadequate, she added.
Those arguments mirror many of those mounted against the complex Islandikane Developments Ltd is proposing for a 220-acre tract of land 6km west of Tramore.
As well as a signature Jack Nicklaus golf course, the ‘family resort’ would include a health spa and a range of family entertainment, sport and leisure facilities, a ‘period’ style 142-suite hotel, as well as 51 associated golf lodges and 28 houses.
Waterford County Council granted conditional planning permission in February. However, the Garrarus and District Concerned Residents group behind many of 300-plus objections lodged with the planning authority had been preparing since January to bring the case to An Bord Pleanála and duly did so.
Several formal appeals were lodged last month, including objections from local residents, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Birdwatch Ireland and An Taisce. The board are due to decide on the case by July 8.
The Islandikane consortium, in which Mr Conlan is a 50% shareholder (international golfer John Carr being head of Harlequin Resorts) also includes Tramore businessman William Bolster.
Mr Conlan made an estimated €160 million from the joint-sale of the bluechip Millennium Park and surrounding land outside Naas in Co Kildare. He subsequently set up what’s now known as the Mount Carmel Medical Group, formerly Harlequin Healthcare Holdings, which was among the unsuccessful bidders for the new private wing to be built at WRH, having previously received planning permission for a proposed €50m private clinic at Kilbarry that never materialised.
Mr Conlan was recently alleged by The Sunday Times to be one of 10 investors who received loans from Anglo Irish Bank to buy shareholdings in the bank.