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Dáil passes Planning and Development Bill

Planning and Development Bill intentionally designed to bypass genuine concerns of the people
Last night the Dail passed the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Bill thereby giving the go-ahead to allow applications to go through a new Strategic Infrastructure Board within An Board Pleanala rather than the normal Local Authority planning applications.
This Bill allows for Developers to make applications for proposed incineration sites to go straight through An Bord Pleanala and completely disregard the wishes of the local communities they will be situated on. It also also prevents an application for Judicial Review to be taken by an organisation which has not pursued the same objectives during the last 12 months. This will presumably have the effect pf preventing a newly formed community-concern group from applying for Judicial Review.Sinn Fein spokesperson on Environment, Heritage and Local Government Arthur Morgan has condemned the passing of the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Bill in the Dail last night due to the implications it will have on not only the planning application process but the communities that will now be affected by it.Deputy Morgan said the Bill was “intentionally calculated to bypass thegenuine concerns of people in areas such as Carronstown, Ringaskiddy, the greater Poolbeg area, and Rossport.” He expressed disappointment at the way in which the legislation was railroaded through the Dail at so late a stage in the session and felt that this reflected the motivations that were behind the Bill. Due to this Sinn Fein tabled a number of amendments to the Bill.Deputy Morgan said, “This Bill was designed to facilitate the rammingthrough of procedures that allow for incinerators to be built under theguise of being of ‘strategic infrastructural importance’ without anyconsultation with local communities. It allows for a facility where noregard will be shown for not only the democratic wishes of communities butalso the development plans that have been already put in place by the Local Authorities. Indeed, Local Authorities powers have been diminished still further by the Government through this legislation and it only serves toshow what little regard this Government has for them.“This Bill was intentionally calculated to bypass the genuine concerns ofpeople in areas such as Carronstown, Ringaskiddy, the greater Poolbeg area, and Rossport. The intention of this legislation was portrayed by theGovernment as being a way to streamline applications for proposeddevelopments that would be of infrastructural benefit to the greatercommunity as a whole, when in actual fact it will only serve to‘fast-track’ purely profit-driven escapades that the public will oppose butthey will now have no realistic means of opposing through the planningprocess.“Sinn Fein has continually campaigned for legislation to be put in placethat will address the deficiencies in the planning process and where thegenuine health and safety concerns of communities will be adhered to.Communities should be listened to when Developers propose to put thesedevelopments in their back-gardens without any concern for the well-beingof those people.”

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Posted Date: 
5 July 2006 - 3:17pm