Belfast Telegraph

Blarney Castle fights nursing home plans

By Gordon Deegan

The owner of one of Ireland's most visited tourist attractions, Blarney Castle in Cork, has stalled plans for a 120-bed nursing home and 29 detached houses.

Last month Cork County Council gave the go-ahead to Hydro Estates Ltd for the nursing home and 25 of the houses at St Ann's Hill, Kilnamucky, Tower, Blarney.

However, the plans are now on hold with Blarney Castle owner Charles Colthurst lodging an appeal to An Bord Pleanala against the decision.

Last year Blarney Castle featured in the top 10 fee-paying attractions. The planning consultants acting for Mr Colthurst, McCutcheon Halley, claim the development "will have a significant negative visual impact" on the castle.

The nursing home is to be built on the site of the former St Ann's Hydropathic Establishment.

The planning consultants for Mr Colthurst point out that Blarney Castle is a protected structure and attracts almost 500,000 people annually, most of whom are foreign tourists.

The appeal states that the proposed development at St Ann's Hill will have a significant negative visual impact on the castle.

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