Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Council to decide on quarry request

A DECISION on an application to import 1,200 tonnes of stone per month to an unauthorised quarry in Ashford is due from the County Council on Thursday.

O'Reilly Brothers Ltd, who own the quarry in Ballylusk, have applied to Wicklow County Council for permission to extend operations to include an increase in the rate of extraction of up to 60,000 tonnes of stone per year.

This comes despite the fact that the High Court upheld a decision made by An Bord Plean√°la and in 2003 ruled that the quarry was operating without planning permission and was not exempt from the requirement for planning permission.

However, the quarry is still in operation and at times the local gardaí have had to ask people living nearby to vacate their homes due to safety concerns when blasting is taking place.

While many people expected activity to cease once the High Court ruling was received, Des O'Brien, Director of Services for the Council's Planning Section, says the legal process involved has proved a lengthy one.

'An enforcement action brought by the Council is due before the circuit court early next year. It can be a slow process and there is no guarantee that the matter won't be adjourned on the day of the court date. Enforcement cases often take a lot of time.'

O'Reilly Brothers Ltd. are also looking to retain existing screening and for the retention of a 19sq m works canteen.

Furthermore, they want to import up to 300 tonnes of stone per week, as well as a wheel cleansing unit, a settlement lagoon, the provision of an effluent treatment system and improvements to the current entrance.

Myles BUCHANAN
Wicklow People

www.buckplanning.ie

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