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‘We cannot ignore An Bord Pleanála decision’ - local councillor on Shell decision

By: 
Anton McNulty - Mayo News

AN Bord Pleanála’s decision to seek further information on the controversial Corrib gas on-shore pipeline on safety grounds brought into question Mayo County Council’s decision to split the project, according to a Belmullet-based councillor.
Last week, An Bord Pleanála (ABP) ruled that the proposed high-pressure pipeline would be routed too close to housing in Rossport and between Glengad and Aughoose, and suggested that another route be explored. Speaking at the Belmullet Electoral Area Committee meeting, Sinn Féin councillor Rose Conway-Walsh said there concern for the safety of the project following the ruling.
“We cannot ignore the ABP decision and there is concern surrounding the decision to split the project following certain health and safety aspects of the project that were pointed out by ABP. As a county council we have to be respectful of that,” she said.
However, Mr Peter Hynes, Director of Services with Mayo County Council said that contrary to suggestions, the pipeline was approved in principle and it was up to the applicant to provide further information before February. He said the matter was out of the council’s jurisdiction and he could not comment any further on the decision at this stage.
Speaking on the matter, Cllr Michael Holmes said he presumed that with a project of his size, it would be normal for the applicant to have to come back with further information. Cllr Micheál McNamara said he could not be ‘two faced’ on the matter of the Corrib gas project because a number of young Achill people had worked on the project and were glad to get employment.
Cllr Gerry Coyle said he did not always agree with the decisions made by planners but always respected their decision and hoped that if this pipeline is given permission it would be respected.