A Co Waterford hotelier is seeking leave from the High Court to challenge a decision to realign part of the Waterford city bypass road following discovery of an important Viking site at Woodstown.
Butlerstown, claims the approval last February by An Bord Pleanála of the change to the €20 million road, made under the provisions of the National Monuments Act, is invalid and in breach of the constitutional rights of himself and his family.
Mr Coughlan said he accepts that the Woodstown site, apparently dating from the 9th to the mid-11th centuries, is the most important Nordic site discovered within the past 100 years and is of international importance. However, he claims, the proposed road realignment would have a serious adverse impact on his business, property and family life, and those effects should have been considered before the realignment decision was taken.
The entire procedure adopted by Waterford City Council and An Bord Pleanála failed to have any regard to his personal rights as a citizen, he said. He also claims that he is unable to formulate a claim for compensation because the road scheme, which is being developed as a public/private partnership, has not been fully designed and the level of the road has not been determined.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday fixed June 19th next for the hearing of the application by Mr Coughlan, his wife, Catherine, and their company, Waterford Manor Hotel Ltd, for leave to challenge the realignment decision of February 6th 2007 in judicial review proceedings.
The judge said that, if the court decides Mr Coughlan has established the necessary substantial grounds to justify leave being granted, the court would also hear the substantive action on the same day. He was mindful of the contractual and other pressures involved, he said.
The court had heard that contractual problems would arise if the €20 million road realignment was delayed, and July 21st was the date for handover of the relevant lands
© Irish Times
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