Tuesday 6 March 2007

Greens in Govt would halt work on Tara motorway

Old news, but interesting nonetheless:

THE weekend’s Green Party Ard-Fheis passed a motion calling for work on the M3 motorway to halt immediately, following a motion proposed by Seán Ó Buachalla, the party’s Meath East general election candidate.
The motion read: “We believe that this road is unacceptable from a sustainable planning, environmental, and archaeological perspective. We believe that, at the very least, this motorway should be immediately halted and that in its place the rebuilding of the rail-link from Dublin to Navan and improvements in bus services should be prioritised over the development of new roads that may be planned.”
Dr Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin of Save Tara has welcomed the motion, saying that with the Green Party likely to hold the balance of power after the general election, Tara’s future looks somewhat more positive.
Meanwhile, transport researcher Brian Guckian has forwarded a complaint on breaches of the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment regarding the M3 to the European Commission. Mr Guckian has previously lodged a petition on the same issues with the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament, who have ruled it admissible and are currently investigating the matter.
Mr Guckian reiterated that the central issue was the failure to adequately and correctly study alternative routes during the planning process for the M3 scheme, which is a central requirement of the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). He said that alternatives had been interpreted in an extremely limited and inadequate fashion, by simply examining alternative routes for the proposed road.
An Bord Pleanala had granted permission for the scheme in spite of this central failure in the planning process, he said, but the legal process in Ireland was arranged so that concerned citizens could not feasibly challenge the law in these matters due to the very high costs involved, which in itself was another breach of the EU Directive, which required that citizens must have access to justice in planning matters at reasonable cost.

© Meath Chronicle

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