Lo­cals split over €60 mil­lion ski re­sort

Septem­ber 2005

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

An Bord Pleanála’s go ahead for a mas­sive ski and hol­i­day re­sort in County Wick­low has al­ready split the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Some peo­ple feel the €60 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment will be a huge boost for nearby New­town­moun­tkennedy, while oth­ers feel the proper in­fra­struc­ture isn’t in place to cope with the num­ber of ex­pected vis­i­tors. Dr Craig Bishop, of the New­town­moun­tkennedy Area De­vel­op­ment Group, says he fails to see how the hol­i­day re­sort will bring any ben­e­fits for the or­di­nary peo­ple of the area. On the other hand, Paul Ka­vanagh, Chair­man of the lo­cal Tidy Towns Committee, says it will be a huge boost for the area.

An Bord Pleanala’s green light came on Tuesday for the alpine vil­lage with two ski slopes and year- round snow at the en­trance to a dis­used quarry at Bal­li­nahinch Lower, just out­side New­town­moun­tkennedy.

The mas­sive de­vel­op­ment is to in­clude ski runs and an alpine vil­lage. Snow will be gen­er­ated through a spe­cial re­frig­er­a­tion method. Plans for the summer in­clude a land­scaped trop­i­cal beach, a la­goon and warm water pools fed from nat­u­ral springs on the site. There will also be a four story ho­tel, restau­rants and bars and an ‘ex­ec­u­tive’ golf course, and apart­ments on the 35- hectare site. The de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to cre­ate some 500 jobs.

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