AN Taisce have lodged a formal objection to An Bord Pleanala over the proposed e430 million Altitude Resort, earmarked for the outskirts of Dundalk.
The leisure development received full planning permission from Louth County Council last month with developers Innovative Leisure Systems Limited (ILS) insisting it had the potential to create 1,200 full-time and more than 380 part-time jobs when fully operational.
They also feel it can attract millions of tourists to the area each year.
However, An Taisce have labelled that assessment as unrealistic and in their objection to An Bord Pleanala said that Altitude – which is planned to include a ski slope, bowling alley and cinema amongst many other features – was a prime example of “unsustainable development.”
An Taisce – the National Trust – have also objected to it on six other points, namely habitats and ecology, flooding, landscape, transport, climate and its relation to Dundalk racecourse.
Speaking to The Dundalk Democrat about the objection, An Taisce’s Gerry Crilly said that the project didn’t make any sense to him.
The Dunleer man said: “This development proposal flies in the face of sustainable development and is a real example of the mindlessness that has brought the country to its knees.
“To think that the town of Dundalk could manage through traffic of 6.5 million/17,000 people a day is farcical and reflective of the mentality that has us and future generations in hoc to the IMF., ECB, and the European Union.
“It is time to rebuild a sense of self respect.”
Responding to An Taisce’s objection, ILS Ltd’s Sam Curran said he was “disappointed” with their viewpoint.
He said: “Everyone has a constitutional right to make an objection to a planning application, or in this case, appeal to An Bord Pleanála, and of course all of us here in ILS are disappointed, though not surprised by recent developments.
“However, while I respect An Taisce’s entitlement to appeal Louth County Council’s decision to grant planning to Altitude, I am dismayed that this organisation would use attention-seeking, headline-grabbing claims to support their appeal such as saying that the development will include a ‘Las Vegas-style casino’.
“Under no circumstances is the term ‘Las Vegas-style casino’ applicable to our plans for the Altitude resort. This seems to be a phrase that has made its way around the country from other proposed developments, and is now being wrongly associated with Altitude. There are no provisions for a Las Vegas-style casino at the Altitude resort.”
Mr Curran added that the An Bord Pleanála appeal will not hinder Altitude’s progress: “This appeal is not affecting where we are with Altitude’s development. We are continuing with detailed fit out designs with the individual operators as we await the outcome of the An Bord Pleanála appeal.”
The objection comes as ILS announced that they have secured an exclusive contract with the internationally renowned Stingray Waves system for the e430m Altitude Resort - which they hope will open in winter 2012.