Tuesday 15 May 2007

Locals set to fight Askeaton quarry

A PROPOSED 50-acre limestone quarry outside Askeaton would generate 700 truck movements a day on the N69, according to the group which has been formed to oppose the project. Denis Lane, from Croom, has applied through a Dublin firm of architects for planning permission for a quarry and site development and landscaping works, including the construction of an internal road, prefabricated office
buildings, canteen, ancillary mobile processing plant, wheelwash, control cabin and weighbridge, fuel tank, settlement lagoons, boundary treatment, wastewater treatment system and parking on an overall application area of 19.9 hectares (50 acres). The site is at Ballyclough, off the Askeaton to Ardagh road, a mile south of the town. A preliminary meeting of locals has already been held, at which 87 people attended, and an action committee has been formed to oppose the project. “The environmental impact statement states that there would be 35 lorries an hour over a 10-hour working day,” said action group chairman Tommy Kelly, who works at Aughinish Alumina and who has land near the proposed quarry on which he keeps thoroughbred horses. “That would amount to 700 truck movements a day. There is no way that the N69 could take that extra heavy traffic all the way into Limerick. People coming to work at Aughinish and Wyeth would be inconvenienced. Going by the previous experience, where a quarry was being applied for near Ferrybridge, property in the area would be devalued by 25 per cent. We’ll be getting our own auctioneers to do a valuation in this case.” Mr Kelly said that his own business would be badly affected, because thoroughbred bloodstock would be upset by the noise of the quarry working and of the heavy traffic. It was suggested at the preliminary meeting of residents that Dáil candidate Cllr Niall Collins was in some way connected with the applicant for the quarry. Cllr Collins this week denied any connection with Mr Lane or the quarry project and insisted that he would be among the first to object to the work. A further meeting will be held next Monday at Askeaton Community Hall, the purpose of which, said Mr Kelly, will be to have the greatest number of people as possible object to the planning application. Cllr Collins said that he will attend that meeting, or be represented, to voice his objection to the quarry going ahead.
Martin Byrnes
© Limerick Leader

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