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Matthews in battle to save Magheramore Beach

Green TD Steven Matthews has submitted a highly critical planning submission on the proposal to develop a holiday resort at the beautiful and ecologically sensitive Magheramore Beach in Wicklow.

‘I know this area well, I know how sensitive the local environment is and I know how much residents and visitors treasure this special place. I have met with community activists and residents seeking to protect the area and have had contact from far and wide from those that use the beach. The area is a Special Area of Conservation SAC and as such it has the highest European conservation designation to protect nature and ecology across Magheramore Beach to Magherabeg beach to the south’.

‘I am highly surprised that the applicant feels that their proposal supports the conservation objectives of the surrounding SAC site and I doubtful that their environmental assessments have captured the negative impacts associated with their proposal’.

‘There is a petition circulating that has attracted thousands of signatures and the feeling amongst many is that this development is in unsuitable to the area. ‘In my view it is completely inappropriate, it runs foul of our obligations to protect SACs, it seeks to commercialise a beautiful natural amenity, it potentially could restrict public access to a safe and high quality bathing area and contravenes many national, regional and local planning objectives. I am most concerned about the impact on the Qualifying Interests of the SAC, the impact on groundwater and surface water impact on coastal water quality, the impact on Curlew feeding grounds, artificial light impact and the loss of habitats and mature trees lining the access lane all associated with intensification of use by the proposed development’.

‘I visited the site again recently to gather some information for my planning submission and met on site with the organisers of the petition. I can’t describe the level of objection to this, the thought that one of the most pristine local amenities would be commercialised and the negative impacts on the local ecology. Wicklow has an abundance of outstanding natural beauty locations for residents, visitors and tourists and I have always worked with businesses to enhance, and to protect these attractions whilst supporting those business opportunities. However, this proposal is not acceptable, it is a speculative attempt to corner an amenity enjoyed by locals, surfers and visitors for generations and I will fight all the way to protect its ecology and access for the public’.

‘My planning submission is available on my website and I would urge people to contact me, sign the petition and lend us support to protect our beautiful beach.

‘We simply don’t need this development; the area could do with some accessibility improvements and toilets and bins, but it doesn’t need commercialisation and privatisation. I was involved with the Council in a recent failed attempt to purchase the site to keep public access and I will be pursuing other options depending the outcome of the planning decision and I will stand with the community on this to the end’ concluded Deputy Matthews.



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