According to Independent Councillor Tom Fortune, the protection of the built environment of Greystones, Kilcoole, Delgany and Newcastle should be a priority for the new Local Authority after the May.
“The whole area has a unique character. Much of this character derives from a number of old buildings and attractive streetscapes yet all these features are under constant threat of inappropriate development.
As recently as last year (2013) Wicklow planners proposed the removal of the listed status of the LaTouche hotel. This move was, I presume, to facilitate the removal of the hotel and its replacement with apartment blocks- a plan which was approved by Wicklow County Council in 2005. Unfortunately I was alone among local representatives in opposing the planners. Because of the lack of support from the other Greystones councillors I was unable to have the listed status retained. I was however successful in having the building identified as contributing to the character of the area which should be sufficient to protect it.
With the building industry showing some signs of recovery the newly elected councillors must remain vigilant to ensure that only development which enhances the character of the areas of Greystones, Kilcoole, Delgany and Newcastle is permitted.” Cllr Fortune concluded that no development or decisions should be taken without consultations taking place with local communities, he said “after all these are the people that know their areas intimately and they know what exactly would be best for their areas”.