atest press release from Jennifer Whitmore TD, issued on Thursday, September 9th 2021…
Deputy Whitmore, Social Democrats TD for Wicklow has spoken out to say she is disappointed that An Bord Pleanala did not grant an oral hearing for the local community affected who object to planning being sought for a large scale inert landfill facility to backfill the existing quarry at Ballinclare Quarry, to its original ground level, and other associated works.
“This is disappointing news,” says Deputy Whitmore, “and is a major blow to the local communities potentially impacted. The scale of this project is so large it should be considered as a strategic development project . And it’s exactly because of this scale that an oral hearing should be facilitated because of the size of the potential impact.
“Residents have expressed to me their huge disappointment and are concerned now whether their concerns will be taken on board. If you consider that this project could include a 20-year permission including the construction of an inter-lined landfill, a separate construction and demolition waste recovery facility, and a soil washing plant at Ballinclare Quarry, possibly forming the State’s largest ever landfill. There are obvious concerns which locals want addressed. This includes construction traffic, road safety, environmental concerns, the negative impact on tourism as well as the exclusion of communities from the process.
“This latest decision does not instil public confidence in our public institutions to be democratic, transparent and community sensitive. As we enter into a new phase of climate action, these projects will require more input from local communities and more transparency on how the local environment will be managed.
“Fundamentally, it’s really important that local communities have an opportunity to engage in this process which the oral hearing would have facilitated,” concludes Whitmore.
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