DURSEY ISLAND, Ireland: A new cable car will be built to connect Dursey Island off the Beara peninsula in west Cork to the mainland.
The current cable car, built in 1969, is capable of carrying some 20,000 passengers per year. The new system will increase its passenger load to 60,000 per year.
Besides the new cable car, the An Bord Pleanala has authorized construction of a new Dursey Island visitor center on the mainland.
The Cork County Council project, An Bord Pleanala, had earlier ruled against its own inspector, who sought to bar construction of the new cable car.
Cork County Council had requested permission to transport 100,000 visitors annually on the cable car, however a cap of 60,000 was permitted.
Plans for a mainland visitor center is to include an interpretative centre, an 84-seat cafe and a 100-space car park at Ballaghboy on the Beara peninsula.
The new cable way will cover a distance of 375 metres. The existing cable car system is to be decommissioned.
In opposing the project, inspector Patricia Calleary said, "The scale of the development is excessive and as proposed, would enable a significant increase in visitor numbers, risking unsustainable impacts to the highly sensitive ecological environment."
In its ruling, the board stated that a 5,000 per month visitor number cap would protect the surrounding areas, both on the mainland and on the island.
The application for the new cable car and visitors center was first submitted with An Bord Pleanala in September 2019.
Officials noted that each cable car will hold 15 passengers and would take between five to six minutes to reach the island.