Our Objections

The Ferry Development Project

As outlined to Greencastle Area Residents at meeting with Carlingford Lough Car Ferry Ltd held in Early Oct 2011

3 representatives from the Carlingford Lough Car Ferry development group
Bill Tosh (from Carlingford, former CEO of Colas (Shell European), former CEO Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and ex-chair of IBEC)
Paul O Sullivan (a chartered accountant from Kilrush, Co. Clare)
Diarmuid O’Loan (Engineer from RPS Belfast)

Approximately 50 residents present

  • 40-50 car capacity ferry – 60m in length
  • 15 min journey time across Lough – Boat could go either side of the rocks
  • Creation of 33 jobs – split on both sides of the lough
  • Office block on South Side but Pilot Jobs, Ticketing and Mechanic jobs – North
  • Capable of carrying commercial vehicles – coaches, lorries, etc.
  • €12 one-way ticket
  • 1000 cars per day during summer season (for 5 months)
  • Operating in excess of 14 hours per day during summer season (for 5 months)
  • 15% capacity during the winter months
  • Environmental Impact Study still to be carried out.
  • Landing on both sides – Greenore and Greencastle
  • Survey carried out at Apple Green station
  • No public money to be used – private money

Greencastle

  • Historic Buildings – Anglo-Norman Mottee, Ruins of noteworthy medieval Church, 1230’s Castle built by Hugh de Lacy, Lighthouse Keepers Dwellings, Boat House, Old wooden Pier from 1880 and listed walls
  • Entirely Residential apart from the Carlingford Lough Commissioners and Farms
  • Within an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • An Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA)
  • Shoreline is an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)
  • Carlingford Louth is also a Special Protection Area (SPA) under EC Birds Directive and is listed as a Wetland of International Importance
  • Home to myriad Flora, fauna, birds and other wildlife – Tern, light bellied brent geese
  • 1.7 mile road – only access route ending in a cul-de-sac
  • Inhabitants of the hamlet come from a diverse background and it should be noted that many of the younger generation choose to stay and make their home in Greencastle even though this inevitably means traveling to work etc which bodes well for future generations when Greencastle will continue to be a diverse and vibrant community

Area of Issue

Inconsistency with Planning Policy

  • Special regard must be had for preserving the character or appearance of protected area
  • Potential damage to habitat species – distruction of hedgerows with road widening
  • Important that the natural heritage be conserved for future generations

Impact on the Environment

  • Supporting rural community life
  • Caring for the environment
  • Preventing development which could adversely affect areas of natural conservation importance

Impact on wildlife

  • Air pollution due to exhaust fumes from large number of vehicles
  • Noise Pollution
  • Potential damage to habitat species – distruction of hedgerows with road widening
  • Pollution from dredging, engine oil, waste and litter
  • Disturbance of the fragile coastline due to dredging and wash from ferry engines

Impact on the Coast

  • Man made barriers such as slip-ways built out into the sea can have serious consequences for coastal areas including sand build up and or erosion
  • Strong wash from the ferry would add to the problem
  • Coastline & Islands already suffers from serious erosion
  • Damage could also occur further afield – Cranfield – Blue Flag etc
  • Dredging in Carlingford Lough already effects fishing

Impact on the Road System and the Traffic

  • Greencastle is a cul-de-sac
  • Difficulty for some residents to enter or leave their homes – some houses built very close to the road
  • Some points along the road impossible to widen – creating bottlenecks
  • Road of low standard and would require significant upgrading on a scale commensurate with the traffic likely to be generated by the ferry proposal
  • Kilkeel already suffers from serious traffic congestion
  • Approach roads to Greencastle are the same roads as those used by Caravan dwellers at Cranfield where already approx 2500 caravans and holiday homes exist

Impact on the Farming Community

  • Dairy Herds move along the road
  • Shellfish Farm

Impact on the Quality of Rural Life

  • Pollution, noise, vibration from heavy lorries, litter, dust, dirt, sewage etc
  • Walking, cycling, horse riding etc

Ferry Operation and Its safety

  • Crossing existing shipping lane
  • Ferry would have to give way to commercial shipping using lough – into Greenore and Warrenpoint
  • Carlingford Lough is treacherous – strong winds and tidal currents can cause problems mainly on the Greenore side
  • Sand-Banks, rocks, reefs, Strong Current, gale force south south-easterly winds

Impact on Tourism

  • Sustainable Tourism is required
  • Scenery, peace, tranquility, clean air, safe beaches, places to rest, picnic, walk, cycle, horse ride, bird watch, wildlife, built heritage, sailing, culture, etc – Greencastle has it all but its not promoted and sign posted

Sustainability

  • Promotion of community participation
  • Use of existing resources
  • Unspoilt environment is one of our greatest assets
  • Economic viability – Financial Failure
  • Dublin – Belfast Road – Upgrade to Motorway – Very little if any time saved by use of Ferry
  • In general Ferries are being replaced by bridges whenever possible – Only large sea-going ferries appear to be viable