Sunday 24 June 2007

Company's decision welcomed by campaigners Roadstone won't blast Arklow Rock for 15 years

Roadstone have declared that they will not blast any more of the remaining sections of the Arklow Rock for at least the next 15 years.

The decision has been welcomed by those that waged a high-profile campaign last year to save the Rock from threatened complete destruction.

Roadstone was ordered by An Bord Pleanála in March to apply for county council planning permission before blasting the Rock's south-facing cliffs.

The company lodged a planning permission application with the council last week for continuing general operations a requirement for all quarries under the Planning and Development Act 2001 but said that the Rock itself had been ringfenced.

While the planning application and environmental impact statement covers all of the rock deposit, Roadstone wishes to point out that it does not propose to conduct any further excavation work in or around the southern face of the quarry at the pinnacle known as Arklow Rock over the next 15 year period,' a Roadstone Provinces spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The company has taken this decision following lengthy and considered consultation with local stakeholders, neighbouring property owners and various local public representatives.

Roadstone is conscious of its obligations and responsibilities as a respected employer and business of long standing in Arklow, and at all times endeavours to operate in harmony with our neighbours.'

Gabriel Gleeson, chairman of the Arklow Rock Preservation Association, said he welcomed the decision.

We certainly would welcome any regards to leaving the south side of the Rock,' he said.

Fifteen years is fine but we would like to see it left like that indefinitely.'

Arklow mayor Sylvester Bourke said all councillors had supported the saving of the Rock and said he was glad Roadstone have taken a responsible attitude on this'.

They have got an awful lot out of the Rock in the past 30 years and it's good they will leave some kind of legacy for the future.'

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