Ski resort plans for Louth scuppered


AN BORD Pleanála has refused planning permission for an artificial ski slope and major leisure development on an environmentally sensitive site adjoining Dundalk Racecourse in Co Louth. An Taisce, which had appealed against Louth County Council’s decision to approve the scheme by Integrated Leisure Solutions (ILS) Ltd, welcomed the board’s decision, saying that the site “should never have been zoned for development in the first place”.

In its ruling, An Bord Pleanála cited Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Transport Future, which “sets out the Government’s vision of achieving a sustainable transport system”, including a reduction in car use and a shift to public transport and other modes.

Despite the tourism and leisure zoning of the site and taking into account that the “vast majority” of the anticipated 1.15 million visitors each year would travel to Dundalk by private car, it considered that the facility would be an “unsustainable car-dependent development”.

This would be “contrary to national transport policy and to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”, the board said, adding that the scheme would also be located in an area subject to coastal flooding and this would be “unsustainable”.