Flood presents report on Trim hotel

 

The chairman of Meath county council has said he will study a report on the use of a site for a hotel development beside Trim Castle before making further comment.

Trim Castle is a medieval national monument of international importance. The report, Trim Castle, a Monument to Bad Planning?, was compiled by the privately funded Centre for Public Inquiry.

The 52-page report chronicles the use of the 1.3 acre site, directly opposite the Anglo-Norman King John's castle, which is now being developed into a four-storey 68-bedroom hotel and car park.

Former High Court judge Mr Justice Feargus Flood, the chairman of the Centre for Public Inquiry, yesterday declined to say whether he thought there should be a public inquiry into the matter. "The report is factual and it is a matter for the public to decide in the end on what to do."

However, Meath county councillor Phil Cantwell (Ind), who has voiced his concerns over the site's use for many years said, "This merits a full investigation." The chairman of the council, Brian Fitzgerald (Ind), said he had yet to read the report but, "I will study it and take the best possible advice on whether there are implications for the council.

" I will discuss the matter with the county manager, in particular in relation to the EU funding for Trim Castle, and I sincerely hope there are no implications in relation to that as the council are not in a position to pay back that money."

The EU provided €3.8 million for the restoration of the castle which was completed a number of years ago and it is a major tourist attraction. The report focuses on the chronology of events that led to the site being sold and the subsequent granting of planning permission for a commercial development.

Meath county council said it was not commenting on the matter.

Trim Castle featured prominently in the Mel Gibson movie, Braveheart, which has added to its appeal to tourists.