Thursday 29 March 2007

Roscommon councillors launch attack on An Taisce

An Taisce’s ‘unhealthy interest’ in planning issues in North Roscommon and Boyle has been roundly condemned by members of Roscommon County.
The criticisms were levied at An Taisce during a debate on a material contravention of the Boyle Development Plan, which came before members of Roscommon County Council at their March meeting on Monday.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the contravention to the Boyle town plan to allow a warehouse development go ahead in the Warren, Drum area. The proposed warehouse will measure some 442 square feet.
The County Manager, Mr John Tiernan, explained that the land in question was immediately adjacent to land which was zoned industrial but this particular piece of land was zoned for housing.
“Having looked at the application and considered the proper planning and development of the area and the employment situation in Boyle I feel it’s appropriate to recommend this to members,” said Mr Tiernan.
Cllr John Cummins said that the development would facilitate a self-employed businessman with extra capacity and storage. He was highly critical of the fact that An Taisce had made a comment in relation to the proposed development.
“Why is An Taisce so interested in everything in Boyle. Every single application for the north of the county seems to attract the interest of An Taisce. If the members of it were to come to Boyle and see how close this is to the two other warehouses there would see for themselves. They seem to want to deter people in North Roscommon from doing anything,” claimed Cllr Cummins.
Mayor, Cllr Charlie Hopkins said that An Taisce seemed to have “an unhealthy interest in North Roscommon”. Cllr Ernie Keenan commended the businessman in question for having the initiative and effort to “put something into Boyle”.
Cllr Sean Beirne said that the Boyle Development Plan must have been wrong in the first place if so many material contraventions had to be made to it.
The County Manager said that he would defy any councillor or group of councillors to provide a plan, which could stay together for six years. Mr Tiernan said that in the interests of development it would not be possible to have a rigid plan in place.
“It can’t and would not be wise to lock things up so rigidly in a way which would prevent things like this going ahead,” said Mr Tiernan. The County Manager pointed out that the area in question was on the fringes of an area already zoned for industrial use. Cllr Sean Beirne said that material contraventions were a regular feature.
The County Manager agreed saying: “Yes, they are going ahead all over the county and I’m delighted to see development going ahead.”
Mairead O’Shea
© Western People

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