Pre-planning inquiry for pontoons in Greencastle

A planner has told councillors from Inishowen Electoral Area that a pre-planning enquiry has been made about pontoons at Greencastle pier.

The enquiry, made by Foyle Marine Limited, was sent to the council within the past couple of weeks asking whether or not they needed planning permission to erect pontoons in the harbour area.

Planner Paul Kelly said; “The group seemed to think they could go ahead put up the pontoons without the council’s permission. I informed them very quickly they would need planning permission.”

Councillor Bernard McGuinness asked about the pontoons erected in the harbour last year. However Mr Kelly said he was not aware of this and pontoons needed planned permission unless erected by the Council.

He said this proposal they were talking about was separate and came from a private party.

A bewildered councillor McGuinness said couldn’t understand where the proposal came from.

“The pier in Greencastle belongs to Donegal County Council and therefore it is not their (Foyle Marine Ltd) property, so how can they apply for planning permission in the first place?”

Mr Kelly suggested that generally cases where an applicant didn’t own a property, the landlord was consulted before any planning permission was given.

Arguments over Greencastle harbour hit the headlines in May this year when Sinn Fein Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn was critical of what he said were plans to develop a private marina in Greencastle.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ at the time, Deputy MacLochlainn said the erection of the breakwater in Greencastle was solely to cater for small and commercial fishermen as their boats are currently overcrowded at the pier.

“If there are people who think they can build a private marina in Greencastle while they push out fishermen who have been fishing for generations to facilitate yachts, they can think again because this is not on.”

The Buncrana man also said he felt the group were trying to be in direct competition with the Fahan marina, as it was the only other private development of its type in the Inishowen area.

“The people in Fahan spent over four million euro of their own money and they fought it out in court to have more funding when the government tried to block it.”