Planning refused for proposed new Portwest headquarters in Westport

Mayo County Council confirmed this week that they had received notification from An Bord Pleanála informing them that the Board had upheld an appeal lodged against the council's decision to grant planning permission to Portwest Ltd for a new headquarters and café at Roman Island, the Quay, Westport.

In their statement, Mayo County Council said: "This is an unfortunate outcome after a long and expensive process. It will preclude the development of an iconic 21st century building at the Quay, which would have involved a multi million investment and would have brought significant employment and economic activity to the area on an all-year round basis.

"In reaching its decision the Board overturned the recommendation of its own inspector to grant permission. Mayo County Council will await sight of the Inspector's report before making any further comment."

Last year Mayo County Council granted planning permission for the project with 37 conditions attached to it. The company was planning to build a new global headquarters, a four-storey building with offices, café and parking and it was envisaged that the new facility would house 150 employees. There were a number of objections lodged against the initial planning application and again to An Bord Pleanála after it was granted by the local authority.

Responding to the decision in a statement Portwest said: "The management and staff of Portwest are all very disappointed with the planning decision. The inspector of An Bord Pleanála recommended the granting of planning to the board of An Bord Pleanála, however the board did not accept the inspectors recommendation.

"Our team have worked tirelessly to bring this project to Westport and to create over 50 new graduate jobs. After two years in the planning process, this decision means we cannot accommodate these new jobs. There are no offices large enough to rent and we have now been refused planning permission to build in Westport.

"The management and staff of Portwest wish to thank the six out of seven councillors who supported the development at the Quay, Mayo County Council who granted planning permission and the An Bord Pleanála inspector who recommended planning.

"We especially thank the Quay businesses and many local people who backed this office development. Portwest will continue to grow at its other sites around the world and will bring its innovative safety products to a global market."

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