Thursday 31 December 2009

Board refuses appeal at Main Street, Ballinagappa-Kilcock Road, Clane

A development comprising of the demolition of a building facing main st. and workshop to rear of site, construction of mixed use building comprising retail, office, 19 residential units and restoration of barn (protected structure) has been refused for the following reasons:

1. The proposed development is prominently located in the central area of Clane
on a restricted site. It is considered that, having regard to its scale and design, the proposed development would not comply with the objectives of the planning authority, as set out in the Clane Local Area Plan, 2009, to maintain and preserve the townscape character and built form of the town centre, its existing pattern of two-storey buildings with pitched slate roofs and predominant fenestration patterns, and that the proposed development would detract from the townscape character of Clane and result in an undesirable precedent for further such development which would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

2. The site of the proposed development is in the River Liffey catchment and the
development would ultimately be connected to the Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant, which in turn discharges into the River Liffey. Having regard to-

(a) the importance of the Liffey as a major source of drinking water for the Greater Dublin area,

(b) the location of the water abstraction point on the Liffey at Leixlip, downstream of Osberstown,

(c) the existing constraints at the Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is currently operating beyond its design capacity of 80,000 p.e.,

(d) the extent of other developments granted planning permission, but yet to be constructed and which would be dependent on the said Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant,

(e) the lack of certainty in respect of future capacity improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant,

(f) the existing biological status of the River Liffey, which has been classed by the Environmental Protection Agency as of moderate status (3-4) downstream of Osberstown,

(g) article 5 of the European Communities Environmental Objectives (Surface Waters) Regulations, 2009, which requires that a public authority, in performance of its functions, shall not undertake those functions in a manner that knowingly causes or allows deterioration in the chemical or ecological status of a body of surface water, and

(h) article 28(2) of the said Regulations, which states that a surface water body whose status is determined to be less than good shall be restored to at least good status not later than the end of 2015, it is considered that the proposed development would be premature by reference to the existing deficiencies in the provision of sewerage facilities and the period within which this constraint may reasonably be expected to cease and would be prejudicial to public health.

3. Having regard to the limited size of the site, to the pattern of development
immediately adjoining the site and to the protected structure on the site, it is
considered that the proposed development would result in overdevelopment of this site and would, by reason of proximity and height adjacent to the site boundary to the north, seriously injure the residential amenity of occupants, by reason of visual overbearing, and overshadowing. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Proposed Mooncoin Local Area Plan - Kilkenny County Council

Closing date for submissions to the proposed Mooncoin Local Area Plan - Kilkenny County Council - is the 12th February 2010. Contact bps ASAP if you wish to make a submission.

Broomfield Local Area Plan

Closing date for submissions is the 14th of January 2010. Contact bps ASAP if you wish to make a submission.

Proposed Amendments to the DLRCC Draft County Development Plan 2010-2016

Closing date for submissions in respect of the proposed Amendments to the DLRCC Draft County Development Plan 2010-2016 must be submitted by 22 January 2010. Contact bps ASAP if you wish to make a submission.


Closing date for submissions to the Draft City Development Plan is 4.30pm on Friday, 12th March, 2010. Please contact bps ASAP if you wish to make a submission.

'Republic now two hours wide'

The republic is now just 'two hours wide' with the completion of the first inter-urban M6 corridor between Galway and Dublin.

Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey marked the little bit of history in bright sunshine and freezing temperatures when he formally opened the last section of the 194km motorway in Ballinasloe, Co Galway.

A speed limit of 120km per hour should cut the journey from the M50 junction to Galway’s outer limits to about two hours, according to the National Roads Authority (NRA).

The final 56km section between Ballinasloe and Galway was completed four months ahead of schedule. However, it was opened unofficially for several weeks last month, when it provided the only direct road route from the east during the extensive flooding.

Mr Dempsey described it as a “major milestone”, while the NRA has billed it as a “historic event”.

Total cost was €1.1 billion for the entire route, with some €427 million paid by the State and the balance of over €700 million funded through a public-private partnership scheme.

Motorists will subsidise the PPP element, with a second M6 toll plaza located close to Cappatagle in east Galway in addition to the existing one near Enfield, Co Meath. A round trip through three toll plazas to and from Dublin airport could cost about €15 - the price of a return bus ticket for bus companies now offering a very competitive alternative, if fares are not increased.

Tolls are now standard on roads across Europe and the existing old road network between Galway and Dublin remained, Mr Dempsey said. “If you don’t want to pay the toll, don’t use the motorway,” he told journalists.

The lack of rest stops - a subject of some criticism - will be addressed, the NRA says. Mr Dempsey said he would be encouraging people to pull off into nearby towns and villages. “There is a programme and, as soon as we can afford it, we’ll put it in place in relation to rest stops,” he said.

Waste firms welcome court judgement

The Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) has welcomed the High Court ruling which has found that Dublin's four local authorities acted uncompetitively when they changed the rules of the Dublin Region Waste Management Plan in 2008.

The changes, which Dublin City Council - on behalf of the four local authorities - had made to the Dublin Region Waste Management Plan, would have effectively excluded private waste companies from household waste collection and recycling in the Dublin Region.

"Dublin City Council's changes to the Dublin Region Waste Management Plan were designed to freeze out private waste operators in Dublin and to give the local authority control over all household waste. The aim was clear - Dublin City Council, which is currently developing one of the largest incinerators in Europe at Poolbeg, needs to have total control of waste so that it has enough fuel to feed this grossly oversized facility for the next 25 years," said Brendan Keane of IWMA.

Mr Keane added - "The IWMA welcomes today's ruling which has rejected Dublin City Council's attempts to seize control of waste and kill off competition.

"The IWMA also welcomes the comments by Mr Justice Liam McKechnie, who recognised that his ruling impacts on the financial viability of the proposed incinerator at Poolbeg. Today's High Court rejection of Dublin City Council's plans is yet another signal that the development of the Poolbeg incinerator should be halted immediately.

"The IWMA strongly believes that building an incinerator with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes per annum in Dublin is an act of madness - and our view has, once again, been vindicated today."

Verdict is warning to council on incinerator plan - Gormley

The High Court judgment that found Dublin City Council’s attempts to change the household bin collection system were anti-competitive has been welcomed by Minister for the Environment John Gormley.

Mr Gormley said that, in light of the decision, the council would be digging itself into “deeper trouble” by going ahead with building the 600,000-tonne incinerator at Poolbeg.

However, the council said the judgment would not stop it from proceeding with the waste-to-energy facility, on which construction began last week.

Mr Justice Liam McKechnie found that the council abused its dominant position in the capital’s waste market, and said the planned Poolbeg incinerator was “not free from uncertainty”.

Private waste collection firms - Greenstar and Panda - took cases against the decision to change the waste management permit system to give the four Dublin local authorities more control over who collects waste in the city.

The council decided in 2008 to change the Dublin Region Waste Management Plan to allow it to decide on the collection of household waste - either through providing its own collection service or tendering for a contractor. This change, if implemented, would have stopped private companies from competitively offering their services to households.

Mr Justice McKechnie said Panda was “entitled to relief” - adding that Greenstar, which had undertaken a separate but linked case, “will also succeed” against the council.

Mr Gormley said he would study the details of the court’s decision, but added that it had clear implications for the future of the Poolbeg plant. “On the face of it, it bears out the concerns I have been expressing directly to Dublin City Council and publicly since I took office. The clear message from the courts is that Dublin City Council has tried to act outside its powers.”

The council needed to take stock of the court decision, he said.

“My door is always open if they wish to engage with my department on plotting a way forward. If they decide to disregard the implications of this judgment and proceed with the incinerator as planned, they will only dig themselves into deeper trouble.”

The Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) said the council had being trying to “seize control of waste and kill off competition” in order to make the Poolbeg incinerator viable.

“The aim was clear - Dublin City Council, which is currently developing one of the largest incinerators in Europe at Poolbeg, needs to have total control of waste, so that it has enough fuel to feed this grossly oversized facility for the next 25 years,” IWMA spokesman Brendan Keane said.

Greenstar chief executive Neil Parkinson said the judgment “throws a spanner in the works” of the council’s attempts to control the waste market in Dublin.

“[The council] has guaranteed to supply the waste to the grossly oversized incinerator it is seeking to develop jointly with Covanta in Poolbeg and it will face penalties if it does not deliver the volume of waste contracted. With today’s ruling, it is becoming clear that, unfortunately, it is the Irish taxpayer who will once again have to underwrite a bad deal.”

The council said it needed to consult its legal advisers before commenting on the judgment, but in a statement said it still intended to go ahead with the incinerator.

The Irish Times

Ikea lobbied to be allowed open early

DUBLIN’S IKEA store was allowed to open early after extensive lobbying of politicians by the company and the local council, files released under Freedom of Information legislation reveal.

It was only after Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and Minister of State Pat Carey were lobbied that the opposition of the National Roads Authority (NRA) to the early opening was overcome.

The NRA, which originally opposed the development because of the possible effects on traffic on the nearby M50, then withdrew its objection to the store opening before all the motorway works were completed.

Under the terms of the planning permission granted to Ikea in 2007, major upgrading works on the M50 were required to be completed before the shop could open. However, Ikea was ready to open long before these works were scheduled to be completed, prompting a flurry of lobbying on the issue.

Ikea wrote to Minister for Enterprise and Employment Mary Coughlan in September 2008 demanding that the NRA provide guaranteed completion dates for the works on the M50. It also complained of a lack of co-operation by the roads authority in revising or interpreting the conditions of its planning permission.

NRA chief executive Fred Barry firmly rebuffed the company’s claims in a response to the Minister the following month. In the letter, he accused Ikea of “trying to create an environment in which they will be allowed open before preconditions set out by An Bord Pleanála are fulfilled . . . Hence their attempts to persuade the media that the NRA is behind schedule, claims about lack of co-operation with regard to planning conditions, etc.”

Mr Barry refused to give Ikea the guaranteed completion date it sought, pointing out that the contractor carrying out the work had no obligation to meet such a date.

On December 1st, 2008, David O’Connor, Fingal county manager, told Mr Lenihan in a letter that the council wanted an opening in summer 2009 in preference to a later date.

He recommended that the roads contract be “managed” by improving capacity at the Ballymun interchange rather than waiting for the entire section of the M50 from Finglas to the M1 junction to be upgraded.

He also recommended against seeking a new planning permission to lift the planning condition because this would be liable to challenge and, therefore, delay.

He warned that a report by Ikea management to its parent board in Sweden had not “reflected well on their Irish experience”.

Mr O’Connor also briefed Minister of State Pat Carey in October 2008, warning that press attention would be drawn to the store if it lay completed but unopened as a result of planning conditions.

He claimed the NRA, in concentrating on the delivery of new motorway infrastructure, had lost sight of the fact that this investment was made to serve the economy of the nation.

The NRA position changed following this correspondence. On December 16th, 2008, Mr Barry wrote to Ikea manager Garry Deakin to say he appreciated that the company needed a specific opening date to allow for staff recruitment.

“In the circumstances, we commit that the NRA will not raise any objection to the Planning Authority (or elsewhere) to Ikea’s opening at any time after June 1st, 2009, even if all of the upgrade works at or around the Junction 4 are not complete.”

Ikea eventually opened in July this year. It claimed the delays cost the company €70 million in lost revenue.

All works on the M50 and Ballymun interchange will be completed next spring, according to the NRA.

Irish Times

State faces bill if incinerator is scrapped, city manager warns

INTERFERENCE WITH the Poolbeg incinerator project could leave the State facing a multimillion euro compensation bill, Dublin city manager John Tierney has warned.

The plant is being built in the face of opposition from Minister for the Environment John Gormley who said he intends to change waste policy to introduce a cap on incineration. However Mr Tierney said the research Mr Gormley was using to change policy had “fundamental flaws” and the Minister “must be aware” that the council had a statutory obligation to go ahead with the incinerator.

Mr Tierney was speaking for the first time against the sustained criticism from Mr Gormley of the planned incinerator.

The four Dublin local authorities had entered into a contract to build the incinerator because of Government policy, Mr Tierney said. In the region of €120 million of public money had already been spent on the incinerator as a “direct result” of this policy, he said. Financial liabilities could arise if the contract was terminated or if policies were enacted to make it void, he added.

Mr Gormley has for several years been one of the most vociferous opponents of the incinerator which is located in his constituency of Dublin South East.

As a Green Party TD he made a submission to An Bord Pleanála against the city council’s application for permission for the facility. However on becoming Minister for the Environment in 2007 he was legally precluded from interfering in a statutory process that had already begun.

After the incinerator was granted permission, Mr Gormley initiated an international review of waste management policy. Published just last month, the review suggests measures to limit the amount of waste available for incineration.

Mr Tierney said there were “fundamental flaws” in the review and warned if some of its proposals were implemented they may be challenged. “The Dublin local authorities believe that there are fundamental flaws in the international review which is being used by the Minister as the basis for his reform of current policy.”

He insists the council, on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, entered into the contract with the developers of the consortium, Covanta/Dong, precisely because of Government policy. “The Minister said . . . we should not have entered into the contract in the first place. The Minister must be aware that we are under a statutory obligation to implement the objectives of the Waste Management Plan.”

Irish Times

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Wicklow County Council Rural Housing Policy

Residential development will be considered in the countryside only when it is for the provision of a necessary dwelling. In general terms, this means:

• You do not currently own a home in the County. If you previously owned a home in the County, you will generally not be considered eligible for a new rural house. However, all circumstances will be taken into consideration.

• You have strong linkages to the area in which you want to build. This will usually mean either a strong family linkage or a need to live in the area because of your employment.

This policy is set out in full in Chapter 3 of the Wicklow County Development Plan (Policy SS9).

If you are seeking permission on the basis of having a housing need and connection to an area, it will be necessary for you to submit supporting documentation with any application.

Example 1:

Sean Byrne is from Kilbride, a rural townland in east Wicklow. The nearest town is Newcastle. He grew up in the family home, which is on a small parcel of land of 1 acre. He left home at 18 to go to college and now rents a house in Wicklow town, where he works. He now wants to build in his native area, but there isn’t enough room on his parents’ site for another house. A neighbouring landowner has offered him a site.

Does Sean qualify for permission?

Sean qualifies to build in this area because (a) he doesn’t already own a home in the County and (b) he wants to build in his native area, close to his family, where he has social and community connections.

Sean would need to submit information with his application to support his case, for example:

- Map of the family holding showing the location of the family home in relation to the application site and evidence that his parents still reside in the family home e.g. utility bills

- Evidence that this home has been in family ownership for the length of time stated and that Sean resided there since childhood (e.g. Land Registry documentation, letters from schools etc).

- Any additional written evidence of his links to an area e.g. membership of local groups or clubs.

Example 2:

Mary O’Reilly is from Rathdrum. She grew up on the Main Street with her parents and when she married, she bought a small house on Back Lane in Rathdrum town centre. This house is now too small for her family. She has seen a site for sale about 2 miles from Rathdrum on the way to Greenane.

Does Mary qualify for permission?

Mary does not qualify to build on this site because (a) she already owns a house and (b) she is from the town of Rathdrum, not the rural area 2 miles outside it, where she has no family of social connections.

In general, people from urban areas (i.e. towns) are not eligible to build in rural areas.

Example 3:

Thomas Walsh is a landowner from south Wicklow. He owns and farms 100 acres. The original family home is now a ruin and he got permission in the 1980s for a new bungalow. He has now legally separated from his wife and has had to give her this house as part of the settlement.

Does Thomas qualify for permission?

Thomas qualifies for a new house, because (a) he is full-time farmer who must live on the land to tend the livestock, (b) although he did already own a home, he has a housing need because he has had to hand over his house as part of the separation settlement.

Thomas would need to submit information with his application to support his case, for example:

- map of the farm holding showing the location of the family home in relation to the application site.

- evidence that he is a full-time farmer and this is his only source of income.

- evidence that the family home was transferred to the sole ownership of his wife following legal separation.

- any additional written evidence of his links to an area e.g. membership of local groups or clubs.

Example 4:

Karen and Seamus are both from Dublin and they own a house in Templeogue. Seamus works in the city centre. They have always dreamed of building a house of their own around the Blessington Lakes, which they often visit at the weekends with their children. Given the property value in Templeogue, they reckon they could build a much larger house in a rural area.

Do they qualify for permission?

Karen and Seamus do not qualify as they (a) already own a house and (b) have no connection to Wicklow or to the Blessington Lakes area.

Wicklow County Council Pre-Planning

The planning process can be complex and difficult to understand, particularly for those who may be unfamiliar with the system.

The purpose of pre-planning is to afford the opportunity to an applicant for planning permission, to seek advise from the planning authority on the proposed development. This advice would include, indicating the relevant objectives and policies of the development plan that may have a bearing on the decision of the application.

In relation to small scale developments, this advice may be given via, a telephone call, correspondence or email. It is not always necessary to hold a pre-planning meeting. This will often depend on the scale of the development. Generally, pre-planning meetings are held in relation to large scale, complex developments.

To assist applicants, Wicklow County Council has prepared pre-planning guides for developments of the following nature.

The link to these guides is:


A new blog has been developed focusing on planning in County Kildare. Mr. David Mulcahy, a planning consultant in Athgarvan, Newbridge has established the blog to provide up to date information about planning in the county. The blog includes a list of newspaper articles concerning planning in Kildare, synopsis of decisions by An Bord Pleanála regarding appeals in the county and details of important dates for making submissions to the review of the County Development Plan and various Local Area Plans. In addition, the blog also includes a section where members of the public can submit general queries on planning in Kildare. Mr. Mulcahy says “Keeping up to date with planning issues in Kildare can often be very difficult and many people don’t know where to start looking. The blog streamlines information from a range of sources allowing people to quickly find out about any significant planning issues where they live in the county”.

The web address for the blog is

Board Refuses Planning Permission for 31 Units in Craddockstown North, Naas

Twangbrook Ltd were refused permission by An Bord Pleanala for 31 dwellings on the basis that the proposed development would be premature by reference to the existing deficiencies in the provision of sewerage facilities and the period within which this constraint may reasonably be expected to cease. The Board’s decision overturns that of Naas Town Council who had granted permission for the development.

Kildare Planning Blog

Permission for 269 dwellings at Great Connell Road, Newbridge refused

An Bord Pleanala refused permission to Pat McGinn and Bernard Ross for 269 dwellings at Great Connell Road, Newbridge, Co. Kildare on the basis that the proposed development would be premature by reference to the existing deficiencies in the provision of sewerage facilities and the period within which this constraint may reasonably be expected to cease and would be prejudicial to public health. Kildare County Council’s decision to grant permission for the proposed development (subject to 69 conditions) was appealed by Mr. Desmond Buckley of Great Connell Stud.

The deficiency is the provision of sewerage facilities (Osberstown) is continuing to be a major obstacle to development in Naas/Newbridge.

Kildare Planning Blog

Fire at Ringaskiddy facility

Firefighters tonight spent over an hour battling a blaze at a scrap yard in Ringaskiddy in Co Cork before bringing the blaze under control.

The fire broke out at the Hammond Lane scrap metal yard in Ringaskiddy near the entrance to Haulbowline Island at around 5pm.

Local residents reported hearing an explosion and a large plume of smoke was visible from the scrap yard which is near the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy.

Units of the Cork County Fire Service from Carrigaline and Crosshaven responded to the fire and spent around an hour bringing the blaze under control.

It’s not believed anyone was injured in the blaze and while it was unclear what had caused the fire, a full investigation is expected to start tomorrow into how the blaze started.

Tonight, the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment pointed out the scrap yard is surrounded the site of a planned hazardous waste incinerator proposed by Indaver Ireland.

CHASE Chairperson Mary O’Leary said that concerned residents in Cobh and Ringaskiddy had been unable to find out from any official source what was burning in the fire.

“There is no environmental service available. Phones have rung out in the EPA and Cork County Council, as big black palls of smoke still pour across Cork Harbour towards Cobh.”

Ms O’Leary said that the fire highlighted the need for proper planning in relation to the proposed incinerator which is currently under consideration by An Bord Pleanala.

“More than ever this highlights the need for planning sanity — this is an explosion right in the middle of a would-be incinerator site, where highly flammable hazardous wastes are to be stored, and which is already classified as a high risk Serveso.

“The hazard posed is unacceptable to people living and working in Cork Harbour. That hazard has been brought to life this afternoon, and we need An Bord Pleanala need to recognise this.”

Irish Times

Monday 21 December 2009

Safety concern over M&S's Dublin plans

The Railway Procurement Agency has objected to plans by Marks & Spencer to develop a 10-storey retail and apartment building next to its existing shop at the Jervis Street centre in Dublin on safety grounds. The agency has told An Bord Pleanála that the retailer has failed "to address the concerns over road user safety which RPA consider will arise from the proposed development".

The RPA objects to the fact that large articulated heavy goods vehicles will reverse on a public road because the "movements are unsafe and impractical and represent a safety hazard to other road users including Luas passengers".

Marks & Spencer wants to develop the building as part of a wider plan to expand and revamp its existing department store.

Dublin city council granted M&S planning approval in October for more than 40 apartments as part of the extension of the building. The retailer was told it would have to pay a contribution of nearly €470,000 to the council and more than €130,000 towards the cost of Metro North.

The retailer announced last month that Marc Bolland, chief executive of supermarket Morrison, will join the retailer in 2010 as chief executive. The group is currently run by industry veteran Stuart Rose.

Earlier this year HSBC analyst Paul Smiddy said the retailer's performance in Ireland "is bedevilled, not just by the major swing in Celtic consumer confidence, but also by over-exuberant past property decisions by M&S", adding later that in HSBC's view "the company has made some poor decisions on locations in Ireland… Marks rode the Celtic Tiger with enthusiasm."

Since then, the retailer has pulled at least two shop openings planned for Ireland, one of which was for the Opera Centre in Limerick which is part-owned by the state through nationalised Anglo Irish Bank.

Sunday Tribune

New bridge has two bus lanes but no buses

The new €60m bridge over the River Liffey has had bus lanes put in place even though no bus routes will use it.

Two of the bridge's four lanes have been given over to public transport despite the fact there is no plan to run any bus route across it.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge has already been criticised by motorists, who complained about difficulties in navigating a complicated series of right or left turns.

Traffic snarl-ups of more than 15 minutes have already become common in both directions from the bridge, with bans on turning away from the bridge infuriating drivers.

Difficulties in traffic flow are likely to discourage any bus operators from using the new crossing while the bus lanes vanish on both sides of the Liffey as soon as a vehicle leaves the bridge.

Dublin City Council said a bus lane had been provided on the bridge to facilitate the "future provision" of buses in the Docklands area of the city.

It said: "[The area has] undergone significant regeneration over the past 12 years, which has seen the population grow there from 17,500 in 1997 to 22,000 in 2008.

"Also, the bridge is intended to facilitate the orbital route traversing the city from north to south and vice-versa so the bus lanes will facilitate future bus-provision on this route."

The council also said the primary reason for a ban on many right and left turns was to discourage users of the East Link toll bridge from diverting.

It said that as part of the planning process, An Bord Pleanála had only granted permission on condition there was "no right turn" in both directions off the bridge and "no left turn" onto the bridge from North Wall Quay.

A statement said: "Dublin City Council implemented the 'no right turn' and 'no left turn' in accordance with the conditions imposed with the planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanála.

"The bridge was intended to facilitate the orbital route traversing the city from north to south and vice-versa. It was never intended that traffic which uses the Eastlink daily would divert onto the bridge.

"This would increase the volume of traffic in the south east inner city and adversely affect the residents there considerably."

The bridge is designed on a massive pivot, which allows it to turn sideways, to allow access for ships or other vessels wishing to move up the River Liffey.

Sunday Tribune

Saturday 19 December 2009

Murrough in Wicklow Town will be restored after work

WICKLOW Town councillors have been reassured that the Murrough in Wicklow Town will be restored and landscaped once work on the Wicklow Port Access Road and Town Relief Road is completed.

A number of elected members voiced their dissatisfaction with the appearance of the Murrough at November's meeting, stressing that such a scenic area can't be left in such a state of disrepair.

At December's council meeting, Town Manager Michael Nicholson, made moves to ease such fears. He had hoped to have a report on the landscaping works due to take place ready for last Monday's meeting, but insisted everything was in hand.

'The report isn't quite ready. Declan O'Brien (senior executive engineer for Wicklow County Council) is getting the drawings for the finished product ready. I will provide these to the councillors when they are ready, the entire landscaping plans.'

Cllr. Pat Kavanagh was also told that concerns passed on by Friends of the Murrough had also been taken on board. The organisation, formed to expedite the preservation of the Murrough as an amenity area, has already held discussions with planners about aspects of the landscaping works which weren't suitable for the area.

Bray People

Waste permit controversy

A FORMER director of Environmental Services at Wicklow County Council had a signed waste permit and removed and replaced with an unsigned version.

Papers released by the Department of the Environment under the Freedom of Information Act show that the existence of the permit only came to light after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it had a copy of the permit retained in its files.

The waste permit related to land belonging to the Byrne family of Ballybeg, Rathnew. The family had agreed to let a road building consortium to use a site as a 'borrow' pit, for the extraction of soil and later for infill, as part of the construction of the Ashford/Rathnew bypass.

The deal, worth €400,000 was dependent on Wicklow County Council granting a waste permit.

The FOI documents include a draft report by the Local Government Audit Service (LGAS). The main report couldn't be found but Information Commissioner, Emily O'Reilly, felt the draft report appeared to be 'a largely factual statement of events', while noting the main LGAS file 'has apparently disappeared without explanation.'

In the report it is revealed that Michael Nicholson, the then Director of Environmental Services, signed the waste permit on Friday, January 17, 2003. But three days later on Monday, January 20, he instructed the removal of the signed copy from the file to be replaced with an unsigned permit. The signed permit was shredded and a copy being sent to the applicant was withdrawn from the post.

Letters show that the Environmental Department of Wicklow County Council wrote to solicitors for the Byrne family on March 10 2003, stating 'your clients visited our office last week and the full file was made available to them.' The letter added that the waste permit 'has not being signed yet.'

Wicklow County Council did issue an apology to the landowner for giving false information and a new permit was signed by Mr. Nicholson on May 15 2003 and backdated to January 17.

The draft report says it was Mr. Nicholson's contention that he was acting to save the council money because payments from the contractor to the landowner could add to the final road bills the council would end up paying the contractor.

LGAS Director of Audit, Noel O'Connell wrote to Minister of the Environment at the time, Dick Roche, stating that 'an administrative error occurred but had no wider implications for the overall quality of the councils systems and procedures in the area of waste management.'

Wicklow People

Flood works not included in Wicklow Town's South Quay repairs

WORKS WILL take place early in the New Year to strengthen the road at South Quay but flood protection works won't be included.

The road is in danger of falling into the river and Wicklow Town Council and the Port Company have both agreed to share part of the bill as both own part of the road. Work on the road should start sometime in January or early February of 2010.

Speaking at the most recent Wicklow Town Council meeting, Town Manager Michael Nicholson, said, 'funding is not in place but we have made an application. We already have development levies adopted for the project so we can at least start work. We will also have to look at the road grant for next year.'

Cllr. Pat Byrne had earlier noted that 'if the work doesn't start soon then the road will fall into the river.'

Cllr. Eamonn Long said any works taking place should involved flood protection works as well. But Mr. Nicholson urged the members to go ahead with the road improvement works, pointing out that consultants had already warned that by stopping flooding in one area, you are only moving it on to another.

Wicklow People

Wicklow County Council Murrough motion is defeated

A MOTION aiming to protect the Murrough and prevent the proposed Multimetal Scrap Metal recycling facility from basing itself at the scenic location was soundly defeated when it came before the town council.

The notice of motion by Cllr. Kavanagh came before the elected members of Wicklow Town Council at December's meeting.

Cllr. Kavanagh called for the town council and county council to commit to developing a management plan for the Murrough, Broadlough and Wicklow Head, and to protect, respect and enhance the ecological sensitivity of these areas.

While most councillors seemed in agreement with these sentiments, they were opposed to the final part of the notice calling for the town council to make clear its objections to the proposed Multimetals development, and any industrial process that would create pollution and noise.

The motion was defeated by 7 votes to 2.

Wicklow People

Thursday 17 December 2009

Broomfield Local Area Plan - Fingal County Council

Closing date for submissions is 14th of January 2010.

Broomfield Local Area Plan - Fingal County Council

Closing date for submissions is 14th of January 2010.

Draft County Development Plan 2010 - 2016 - Wicklow County Council

Closing date for submissions is 23rd of December 2009.

Arklow Town and Environs Plan 2011 - 2017 - Wicklow County Council

Closing date for submissions is 23rd of December 2009.

Dramatic decline in high quality river sites during the last 20 years

The EPA has released its latest report on key indicators of the aquatic environment - Water Quality in Ireland 2007 - 2008 - which summarises the most recent national water quality assessments.

The report presents the most up-to-date data available in Ireland on the 20 most relevant and important indicators of water quality. It includes, for the first time, interpretation of the significant monitoring data collected under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The statistics, summarising the monitoring results for surface and groundwaters for the period 2007 - 2008, show recent increases in fish kills and pollution at sea incidents, decreases in the number of bathing water sites meeting EU standards and a dramatic loss in the percentage of high ecological river sites over the last 20 years.

Key Findings
30% of the rivers sampled were of high ecological status in 1987. By 2008, this has dropped to 17%, located in less densely populated, less developed and less intensively farmed areas. The suspected causes of this dramatic loss are nutrient inputs, siltation and acidification associated with activities such as forestry, agriculture and housing development.

New Water Framework Directive classification systems
The WFD requires a new classification system for water quality assessment that covers a wider range of data. This new classification system - high, good, moderate, poor and bad is determined by assessing data on -

* biological quality - plankton, invertebrates, plants and fish;
* physico-chemical characteristics;
* specific pollutants - and
* water flows and other physical characteristics.

Using the new and more demanding Water Framework Directive status assessment system, good or high status was assigned to -

* 49% of rivers
* 55% of lakes - and
* 60% of estuarine and coastal waters.

85% of groundwaters were in good status.

These figures indicate that almost half of the river and lake water bodies - and 40% of the estuarine water bodies - examined are in a condition that will require remedial measures to restore these waters to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Dara Lynott, Director, EPA Office of Environmental Enforcement said - “The scale of the task of achieving the objectives of the Water Framework Directive is now becoming clearer. In addition to applying protective measures to those sites assigned high and good status, almost 50% of river and lake waterbodies will require restorative measures, while 40% of estuaries and coastal waters will also need to be restored.”

Deterioration of groundwater quality is also a major cause for concern. The level of bacterial and nutrient contamination in our groundwaters is increasing and faecal coliforms were detected in more than half of the groundwater locations sampled.

According to Dr. Jim Bowman, Programme Manager of the Aquatic Environment programme in the EPA - “Nutrient enrichment of surface and groundwater remains at a high level, with municipal and agricultural discharges being the key contributors. The dramatic decline in the number of high ecological quality river sites during the past 20 years - largely due to low level enrichment and siltation in upland areas - is unacceptable and will have to be addressed.”

Dr Bowman added - “A major challenge to be confronted in the immediate future is to protect our remaining high status waters and restore those that are degraded.”

The Water Quality in Ireland 2007-2008 report deals with -

* 13,200km of river and stream channel;
* 433 lakes;
* 89 tidal water bodies - and
* 275 groundwater sources.

As well as giving the present situation, regarding the state of the aquatic resource, the report also includes analyses of trends over time. Only by including historical information can improvement or deterioration be discerned and programmes of measures for remediation be instituted.

The report is also available from the EPA’s Publications’ Office, McCumiskey House, Richview, Dublin 14 - Tel: 01-2680100.

Report Findings

Surface Waters

* 70% of river channel length and over 90% of lake surface area examined were of satisfactory water quality.
* 84% of estuarine/coastal water bodies examined were in an unpolluted or intermediate state. 8% were potentially eutrophic with a further 8% eutrophic (over-enriched).
* The percentage of high ecological quality river sites in the country has almost halved in the period since 1987. (High ecological quality river sites are indicators of largely undisturbed biological communities and reflect the natural background conditions, or only very minor distortion by human influences).
* The number of fish kills, while reduced compared to 2006, remains at an unacceptably high level with 22 in 2007 and 34 in 2008.
* The overall water quality in canals remains good.


* Nitrate concentrations in rivers in the south and south-east regions were generally higher than elsewhere in the country.
* Nitrate concentrations for 92% of lakes were in the low category.
* 40% of estuarine and coastal waters had excessive nitrate concentrations in winter.
* Phosphate concentrations in 71% of rivers and 81% of lakes were consistent with good or high status.
* 24% of groundwater monitoring locations were classified as being in less than good status based on mean phosphate concentrations.

Water Framework Directive Status Assessment

* 49% of rivers, 55% of lakes and 60% of estuarine and coastal waters were assigned good or high status using the new Water Framework Directive classification systems.


* 67% of the groundwater well and spring sampling locations had faecal coliforms in at least one sample.
* Approximately 7% of the groundwater locations examined exceeded the national guideline value for nitrate concentration for drinking water, with 1% breaching the mandatory limit.

Bathing Water

* The overall quality of the bathing waters in Ireland, while showing some deterioration in 2008, remains good.

Council's €60m deal with Carroll agreed

A €60 MILLION deal between developer Liam Carroll and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has been approved by councillors.

Councillors voted to accept the deal by 24 to 3.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had instituted legal proceedings in July this year to protect its interests in the Cherrywood Science and Technology Park, following the collapse of Mr Carroll’s Zoe Group.

Mr Carroll owned Dunloe Ewart, the company that had gone into the joint venture project with the council in 1997.

The 64-acre site, off the N11 in south Dublin, was partially owned by the council which also invested €57 million into the project.

The High Court set up a mediation group between the two parties following the legal action and a proposed agreement has now been reached. Two buildings near the front of the park are to be ceded to the council in full under the agreement. Both are vacant and described as “modern detached four-storey office units”. One contains two telecommunications masts, yielding an annual rent of almost €55,000.

Some 20 acres of development land and four acres of open space are also to be transferred to the sole ownership of the council as part of the deal.

The remainder of the site will be transferred to Cherrywood Science and Technology Park and the associated group of companies currently involved in the property.

The council intends to set up a new property company, DLR Ltd, to handle its share of the site.

Speaking last night, Independent councillor Victor Boyhan said he could not support the deal, having taken legal advice, because councillors did not have all the information they required, including the detailed valuations of the properties involved.

Labour councillor Aidan Culhane said he was concerned about disposing of the properties and setting up a new company over which they would have no control. And councillor Richard Boyd Barrett said he did not think the matter should be rushed.

County manager Owen Keegan said DLR Properties Ltd would be 100 per cent owned by the council and any profits made would go back to the council.

He acknowledged he had “slight unease” about the council acting as both planning authority and developer for the development. But warned councillors that “time is of the essence”.

Irish Times

Inspector to investigate contract for incinerator

MINISTER FOR the Environment John Gormley is to appoint within weeks an inspector to investigate the contract for the 600,000-tonne incinerator which began construction in Poolbeg, Dublin, yesterday.

Mr Gormley said he would also soon introduce a cap on incineration which would limit the amount of waste that could be burned on a regional basis.

Dublin City Council is tied into a contract with the developers of the incinerator, Covanta/Dong, to provide at least 320,000 tonnes annually to the €350 million plant. If it does not, it has to compensate the consortium at a rate of €100 for every tonne not supplied.

Mr Gormley said the financial implications of this contract must be investigated.

The council said the plant, which will take three years to build, will provide 500 jobs during the construction phase and 60 permanent jobs once it opens. It will also reduce dependence on landfill and contribute towards reaching Ireland’s climate change targets, it said.

“Under the terms of the contract, the four Dublin local authorities will recover energy from 320,000 tonnes of waste from the region annually that would otherwise go to landfill,” assistant city manager Séamus Lyons said.

He added that Dublin’s current waste plan is similar in strategy to the waste plans of many of Europe’s “top recycling cities” including Stockholm (European Green Capital 2010), Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Oslo and Freiburg.

The plant will also provide enough electricity for up to 50,000 homes as well as having the potential to provide district heating for the equivalent of up to an additional 60,000 homes locally, the council said.

The local community also gets a community gain fund of 3 per cent of the capital cost of the plant and €1 for every tonne of waste burned.

However, large number of local residents and politicians remain opposed to the plant. Residents protested last night at Seán Moore Road, which leads to the plant.

Local Labour councillor Maria Parodi, who was involved in the protest, said the development was a “huge mistake” for the city.

“This incinerator is a disincentive to any ambitious recycling, composting and waste reduction strategies. There are other waste management options available that are more environmentally friendly and more cost-efficient and we should be exploring them in pursuit of a zero-waste model.”

Speaking on RTÉ radio yesterday, Mr Gormley said he had made his views known “very trenchantly” to Dublin City Council. “The local council needs to consider its position . . . I think at this stage they need to understand an incinerator of this capacity is just not on.”

Mr Gormley has said the taxpayer could face bills of €18 million a year for the next 20 years if the incinerator goes ahead. Dublin City Council has rejected the claim.

The Irish Waste Management Association, which also opposes the incinerator, said the council was being “amazingly arrogant” in pressing ahead with construction of the facility. It said its members do not intend to bring waste to the plant.

Irish Times

Planning permissions down 43.9%

Planning permissions were granted for 8,584 housing units during the third quarter, down 43.9 per cent when compared to the 15,293 units in the same three-month period a year earlier.

According to new statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), planning permissions for houses fell by 53.5 per cent year-on-year from 11,532 in the third quarter of 2008 to 5,362 in the same quarter this year.

During the same 12-month period permissions for apartment units fell 14.3 per cent form 3,761 to 3,222.

One-off houses accounted for 24.6 per cent of all new dwelling units granted during the third quarter.

The total number of planning permissions granted for all developments declined 39 per cent year-on-year the figures show.

Planning permissions for new buildings for Agriculture decreased to 203 in the third quarter, down from 314 permissions in the same three-month period a year earlier.

Irish Times

O'Callaghan to push ahead with hospital plans

PROPERTY DEVELOPER Owen O’Callaghan is to resubmit revised plans for an €80 million 94-bed private hospital in Cork after An Bord Pleanála yesterday refused permission for the original proposal.

O’Callaghan Properties had been granted planning permission by Cork City Council last July for the new hospital on Lancaster Quay near the new Jury’s Hotel on the city’s Western Road but it was appealed to An Bord Pleanála which refused permission.

An Bord Pleanála has yet to disclose details of its refusal but, according to a spokesman for O’Callaghan Properties, the refusal relates to the building’s design and resulted from a five-four vote by the board which chose to overrule its own inspector who favoured the project.

“We are encouraged at the direction of An Bord Pleanála in that it says that a change of use on site to hospital use is acceptable to it,” said the O’Callaghan Properties spokesman.

“The board has an issue with the design of the project and that is something we will address with a view to submitting a fresh application to the local authority by mid-January. On that basis and bearing in mind the board’s advisement, we would hope to be in a position to commence construction of the hospital in June/July 2010.”

According to the spokesman, the hospital was a project “that could have started in April and would have created 350 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs, so in the current economic climate particularly, that is very regrettable”.

The six-storey hospital, located on a two-acre portion of the Jury’s site, would have included six operating theatres, 20 consulting suites, surgical day beds and recovery beds, intensive care, an oncology ward, physiotherapy facilities and a cafeteria.

O’Callaghan Properties had already confirmed that it had agreed a deal with healthcare operators, La Tour of Switzerland, and the Health Partnership to run the new hospital.

The company had originally planned to develop the site for 100 apartments but dropped that plan in favour of the hospital proposal having already built some 175 apartments and a new Jury’s Hotel on the site.

Irish Times

Kerry GPs may change care centre plan

IN A new development there is now strong speculation that doctors in Killarney, Co Kerry, will set up a new primary care facility in an office block off the N22 on the Tralee side of the town.

The news comes after the GPs’ consortium this year pulled out of advanced plans with the HSE to set up a €40 million primary care centre on HSE-owned lands at St Finan’s nearby.

This was after the town council gave permission for the centre but refused to give permission for a pharmacy. The consortium appealed this to An Bord Pleanála, and a decision is due shortly.

However, partly because of changed financial circumstances it is considered extremely unlikely the GPs will now consider the St Finan’s site regardless of the decision by An Bord Pleanála

The GPs look set to buy a number of floors with provision for consultants facilities at The Reeks Gateway multi-storey centre.

It was built by Sunday’s Well Properties, and was originally marked for office and retail space. It has underground car parking and access from the town centre. It also contains a petrol station and residential facilities.

The town council yesterday confirmed there is no impediment to a pharmacy on the site.

Some 12 of 14 Killarney GPs are involved in the project, which had been advanced over a number of years and on which the consortium had spent considerable money in planning and consultancy fees.

Pharmacies in Killarney and Castleisland have been concerned about the concentration of GPs at one centre and the competition aspects of one dispensary there.

It is understood an out-of-town pharmacist has separately bought a retail unit which is owned by Sunday’s Well property developers.

The Killarney GPs may also invite tenders for a second pharmacist.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the GPs, Dr Gary Stack, confirmed The Reeks Gateway was “an attractive option” for the GP consortium and was being seriously examined.

However, he said a deal about the facility had not been finally agreed.

Irish Times

Brother opposes planning for sister to live next to him

A WEST Clare man is opposing plans by his sister to secure planning permission for a new home adjacent to his own house.

The opposition by Cyril Donnellan to plans by Bernadette Donnellan to construct a new home at Ballycurraun, Knock, Kilrush is at the centre of a family dispute where the site is owned by a brother of the two, Joseph Donnellan.

Last month, Clare County Council granted planning permission to Ms Donnellan, a mother of four, currently living in Dublin in spite of her brother Cyril lodging an objection against the proposal.

Now, Cyril Donnellan has appealed the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanála along with a separate appeal being lodged by other local residents, Sean Downes and Jennifer Bostock.

The application states that Bernadette was born in Clare, but now lives in Dublin and says that she “wishes to return home to build a house on family farm and live next to relatives”.The application states that Ms Donnellan is a retired cleaner and currently rents her accommodation from Dublin City Council.

In his objection, Cyril Donnellan said: “I wish to advise the council that there is no reality in this application as presented by my sister, Bernadette Donnellan as I know she has no intention whatsoever of building or occupying the home.”

However, when contacted yesterday, Joe Donnellan confirmed that he has contracts signed for the sale of the site to his sister.

Mr Donnellan said there has been a family dispute. He said: “My only interest is selling the site.”

In his objection, Cyril Donnellan said: “I have lived at Ballycurraun for 25 years with my wife and family. We moved here from an urban area for privacy, peace and quietness. We have two bedrooms and one living room window facing the direction of the proposed dwelling. If a dwelling is erected nine metres from our home, we will have to keep our curtains closed forever more.”

When contacted, Cyril Donnellan declined to comment.

The council’s planner’s report states there is no requirement that a local rural person must occupy the dwelling. The planner states: “The only requirement is the house is occupied as a permanent dwelling.”

A decision is due on the appeal in March next year.

Irish Times

Decision on €150m plan for Waterford overturned

AN BORD Pleanála has been criticised for overturning planning permission granted by Waterford County Council for a €150 million development outside Tramore that would have acted as a “considerable economic stimulus” for the county.

More than 200 residents in the seaside town and surrounding area objected to the golf course, hotel and accommodation facilities planned at Garrarus and Kilfarrasy, about six kilometres outside Tramore, by local developer William Bolster of IslandiKane Developments.

It has been claimed the development would have created about 400 construction jobs locally and 150 long-term jobs in the area.

There was considerable opposition to the plan from residents as well as from An Taisce, Birdwatch and the Department of the Environment, while Waterford county councillors earlier this year passed a motion of no-confidence in An Bord Pleanála.

Objectors maintained the development would have an adverse effect on the coastal community and environment.

Traffic congestion in the rural area and a possible disturbance to chough birds were among concerns raised at meetings in Tramore.

A spokesman for the Garrarus and District Concerned Residents group, who opposed the proposed development, said: “It is not an inappropriate analogy to compare this site with sites of such environmental and geological significance as the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare or the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim.

“If such a development were proposed in either of these locations of special protection, there would be public outrage.

“Though this site is less well known than these examples, the designations protecting it are no less and as such it must be considered and protected similarly,” said the spokesman.

However, Tramore town councillor Anne Marie Power, also a Waterford county councillor, said the decision would result in a “major blow to our economy” that “really sends out a very bad signal about jobs.

“The €150 million capital expenditure would have been a huge fiscal stimulus, not just to Tramore but to Co Waterford.

“So, from everybody’s point of view . . . the stakeholders that are interested in improving our economic base and in providing jobs, this decision was most regrettable.”

In issuing its decision, An Bord Pleanála said: “It is considered that the proposed development . . . which is highly visible from the eastern coastline and the adjoining road network, would constitute a development out of character with the existing relatively unsettled and unspoilt coastal area.”

The development would also “seriously injure” the visual and recreational amenities of the area.

Irish Times

Appeal Withdrawn at Rathangan Demense, Rathangan, Co. Kildare

An first party appeal by Dundian Limited concerning conditions imposed by Kildare County Council when granting permission for a large-scale planning application at Rathangan Demense, Rathangan, Co. Kildare has been withdrawn from An Bord Pleanala. Dundian Limited received permission for 250 houses, retail units and a creche facility.

Permission Refused for Large-scale Residential Development in Rickardstown, Newbridge, Co. Kildare

Kildare County Council have refused permission for a large-scale residentail development in Rickardstown, Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Ted Nugent, John Nugent & Declan Gardiner had sought permission for 281 no. residential units with a mixture of semi-detached and terrace housing. There were two reasons for refusal; the first related to the lack of capacity in the Osberstown WWTP and the second related to prematurity pending the construction and commissioning of the proposed foul sewer network from the site boundary to Osberstown Waste Water Treatment Plant and the Newbridge East Sewer interceptor.

Tesco granted shopping centre on Monread Road in Kildare

Nass Town Council has granted permission to Tesco for a smaller version of the previously permitted district shopping centre on the Monread Road (1st Dec 2009). The office content of the permitted scheme has been omitted from the current scheme in response to the downturn in the market.

Tesco granted shopping centre on Monread Road in Kildare

Nass Town Council has granted permission to Tesco for a smaller version of the previously permitted district shopping centre on the Monread Road (1st Dec 2009). The office content of the permitted scheme has been omitted from the current scheme in response to the downturn in the market.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

€80 million 100-bed private Cork hospital plan rejected

However, O’Callaghan Properties (OCP) vowed last night to address the design concerns raised by An Bord Pleanála about its Western Road project and submit a new planning application within weeks.

The company said they were obviously extremely disappointed at the ruling, particularly as the inspector favoured permission and the ruling was a marginal five to four against.

"It was a project that could have started in April and would have created 350 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs, so in the current economic climate particularly that is very regrettable," a spokesperson said.

However, the spokesman said the company is encouraged by the board’s view that a change of use on-site to hospital use is acceptable.

He said the company will address concerns around the design with a view to submitting a fresh application to Cork City Council by mid-January.

"On that basis and bearing in mind the board’s advisement, we would hope to be in a position to commence construction... in June/July 2010," he added.

The city council granted permission to OCP earlier this year, with 19 conditions, to build the 100-bed private hospital on a two-acre site on Lancaster Quay, Western Road, close to where the company developed Jurys Hotel and the apartments.

At 140,000sq ft, the proposed hospital will include six operating theatres and 20 consulting suites. It is expected to employ up to 300 healthcare professionals once fully operational.

It will be run by leading Swiss-based private hospital operator La Tour Réseau de Soins.

However, a shop steward in the Mercy University Hospital was one of two men who lodged objections with An Bord Pleanála against the project.

Graham O’Reilly, from Mayfield, raised several concerns, and argued the hospital was contrary to the zoning of the Lancaster Quay site and claimed it would result in a loss of views of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.

Irish Examiner

Gas pipeline gets green light

The Commission for Energy Regulation has given the go-ahead for work on the pipeline for the Shannon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal, in Tarbert, Co Kerry, to start.

The 26km pipeline will connect the terminal, at Kilcolgan Lower, Tarbert, to the national gas grid, west of Foynes, Co Limerick, bringing gas to Co Kerry for the first time.

According to the Construction Industry Federation (CFI), thousands of jobs have been lost in the building industry in the county. Numbers on the Live Register in Kerry now exceed 15,000, doubling in three years.

Kerry North Fine Gael TD Jimmy Deenihan said the gas pipeline would provide an essential boost to the local economy.

"Unemployment in the area stretching from Tralee to Tarbert has doubled in the past two years. We have seen one factory after another closing down," he said. The deputy said the gas project would have economic benefits for Kerry for years to come.

Calling for more capital investment in the area by the Government, he said only one school, Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee, had been provided in north Kerry since 1998.

In contrast, 10 new schools had been built in south Kerry, he claimed.

Mr Deenihan said that while sporting organisations benefited from the presence of John O’Donoghue as Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Kerry had been left seriously wanting in relation to water treatment plants, broadband and other services.

He said the deficit was especially apparent in education, with a pressing need for new schools in the Blennerville and Baloonagh areas of Tralee.

Irish Examiner

Monday 14 December 2009

Wicklow waste permit was shredded

A FORMER director of environmental services at Wicklow County Council removed a signed waste permit worth €400,000 from a council file, replaced it with an unsigned version and shredded the original, according to papers released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

The FOI documents, released by the Department of Environment after a 16-month discussion with Information Commissioner Emily OReilly, also reveal the then director of environmental services, now director of housing services Michael Nicholson, subsequently denied on a number of occasions that the waste permit had ever been signed or issued.

The existence of the original permit only came to light after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said a copy of the permit, dated January 17th, 2003, and signed by Mr Nicholson, had been issued to it and had been retained in its files.

Wicklow County Council subsequently apologised for giving false information to solicitors for the landowner, and a new waste permit was signed by Mr Nicholson on May 15th, 2003. It was backdated to January 17th on the advice of the council’s law agent.

The waste permit related to the creation of a “borrow” pit on land belonging to the Byrne family of Ballybeg, near Rathnew. A road-building consortium had agreed with the Byrnes to use a site on the Byrne family lands as a borrow pit, first for the extraction of soil and later for infill, as part of the construction of the Ashford-Rathnew bypass.

The deal was worth about €400,000 in payments to the Byrnes, but was dependent on Wicklow County Council granting a waste permit.

The FOI documents, released to Independent councillor Tommy Cullen, include copies of correspondence from Wicklow County Council to councillors, the landowners and the landowners’ solicitors on the issue, as well as a draft report on the issue by the Local Government Audit Service (LGAS).

The main LGAS report could not be found. But the Information Commissioner ruled the draft report should be released, noting it appeared to be “a largely factual statement of events” and that the “the main LGAS file has apparently disappeared without explanation”.

The draft report records Mr Nicholson personally signed the waste permit on Friday, January 17th, 2003. But on the following Monday, January 20th, he instructed the signed copy be taken from the file and replaced with an unsigned permit. The signed permit was shredded and a copy which was being sent to the applicant was withdrawn from the post.

Letters released under the FOI Act show Mr Nicholson’s department wrote to solicitors for the landowners on March 10th, 2003, stating “your clients visited our office last week and the full file in the case was made available to them”. The letter continued that, from the file, it could be seen that the waste permit “has not been signed yet”.

The draft report notes Mr Nicholson’s contention that he had acted to save the council money, as payments from the contractor to the landowner could add to the final roads bill which the council would pay the contractor.

A letter from the LGAS director of audit Noel OConnell reported to then minister for the environment Dick Roche that “an administrative error occurred within the council”. However, Mr O’Connell said the error had “no wider implications for the overall quality of the councils systems and procedures in the area of waste permitting”.

In a statement to The Irish Times, Mr Nicholson, on behalf of the council, said: “This matter was the subject of an investigation by the director of audit of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and in his report in December 2005 he stated that the overall system for issuing waste permits in Wicklow County Council was properly carried out.”

But Mr Cullen called on the LGAS to say how it arrived at its conclusion that “an administrative error” had occurred in relation to the granting of the waste permit. The documents offered no explanation as to how this conclusion was arrived at, he said.

Irish Times

Construction of incinerator begins

Construction of the controversial 600,000 tonne incinerator in Dublin's Poolbeg began today amid protests from the local community.

The €350 million project is expected to employ up to 500 people on site at peak construction and approximately 60 others in permanent jobs at the plant when it opens.

Dublin City Council said the plant is part of “a long term integrated plan for the management of the city’s waste” and will generate heat and electricity from up to 600,000 tonnes of waste that would otherwise go to landfill, generating enough electricity for up to 50,000 homes as well as district heating potential for the equivalent of up to an additional 60,000 homes.

However, residents have planned a protest this evening against the facility at Seán Moore Road which leads to the plant.

Labour councillor Kevin Humphreys said the “costly, foolish” project continued to be opposed by all local public representatives, including Minister for the Environment John Gormley.

The Irish Waste Management Association said the council was “amazingly arrogant” in pressing ahead with the facility.

Irish Times

Sunday 13 December 2009

Corrib gas field cost €1.5bn in 2008

The total spend on developing the Corrib gas field off the Mayo coast to the end of December last amounted to just under €1.5 billion.

In figures revealed for the first time by a senior source close to the project, the capital outlay to the end of December by the three partners in the project is €1.2 billion, with operating costs of €277 million - bringing the total cost to more than €1.4 billion. The senior source estimated that another €500 million will be spent on developing the field before gas is produced.

Filings just returned by the lead company in the project to the Companies’ Office - Shell EP Ireland Ltd - show that it has spent €673 million on the project to the end of December last, made up of €548 million in capital costs and €125 million in operating costs.

Shell’s two partners in the project are Statoil - which has a 36.5 per cent share of the field - and Canadian-owned Vermillion, which has an 18.5 per cent share.

The field has one trillion cubic feet of gas and is expected to meet 75 per cent of Ireland’s peak winter gas needs for up to a decade.

The filings show that, last year, Shell EP Ireland Ltd incurred a pretax €70 million loss on the project, with administrative costs rising to €72.5 million.

Although not specified in the returns, it is understood that a major contributory factor to the increase in administrative costs was €56 million written off by Shell after the world’s largest pipe-laying vessel, the Solitaire was damaged off the Mayo coast in September 2008 and was unable to carry out its work last year. The repaired Solitaire returned last June to complete its work.

The returns also show that Shell EP Ireland has received tax credits of €48 million in the last five years from the exchequer.

The numbers employed by Shell EP Ireland rose dramatically this year - with up to 1,500 people working on the project - and salaries totalling €11 million paid each month. The onshore terminal at Bellanaboy is 80 per cent complete.

A spokesman for Shell EP Ireland said the company was happy with its performance in 2008, pointing out that there will be no income from the project until the gas is flowing. He said that, in 2009, the laying of the 81km offshore pipeline had been completed and the infrastructure for five offshore wells had also been completed. They were now ready for production.

Last month, An Bord Pleanála ruled that up to half of Shell’s proposed onshore pipeline was unacceptable on safety grounds and gave it three months to provide an alternative route.

A spokesman for Shell confirmed that its consultants, RPS, will be re-examining the feasibility of routing the onshore pipeline up the Sruwaddacon estuary from an engineering and environmental perspective.

The spokesman said - “The current window for project completion is year-end 2010/early 2011. It is too early to say whether the recent correspondence from An Bord Pleanála will have an impact on this schedule.”

The filings show that the company last year employed 122 people, spending €21 million on salaries.

The Irish Times

Proposed wind farm at Templetuohy

Bord na Móna has embarked upon a strategy of diversification beyond its traditional peat-based businesses.

As part of this diversification, it intends to develop a portfolio of electricity generating plants - including wind farms, flexible gas fired generation and peaking units. In line with this, Bord na Móna has selected some of its existing cutaway peatlands near Templetuohy for the development of a new wind farm. The proposed site, known as Templetuohy bog, is located in parts of Counties Kilkenny, Laois and Tipperary between Templetuohy and Johnstown.

The company has been involved in peat production operations at the site since the 1950s and parts of the bog are still in active peat production. Those areas of the site that are still in active peat production will not be affected by the development of the wind farm and peat production will continue as normal.

The proposed development will be known as Bruckana Wind Farm after one of the townlands within the site where some of the turbines will be located. It will have a generating capacity of approximately 40MW and will comprise of 16 wind turbines, access trackways, crane hard-standings, underground cables between the turbines, a 38kV electricity substation and a 38kV overhead line to Lisheen substation.

When operational, it will improve the geographical distribution of wind energy facilities nationally and, hence, contribute to a more balanced input of wind energy to the grid in support of the Government’s 40% target for electricity from renewable energy sources.

This will help to ensure that by 2020 40% of electricity generated in the state will come from renewable sources.

An application for connection of the wind farm to the national grid has been made to EirGrid. It is included in the Gate 3 list of projects to be processed for connection and it is scheduled to get an offer for connection to the system towards the end of 2010. Planning applications are currently being prepared for the project and will be submitted to Kilkenny, Laois and Tipperary North Riding Local Authorities.

As part of the planning process, an environmental impact study (EIS) is being carried out into the potential impacts of the proposed development on the local environment. A public information session was held in Templetuohy on 9th December.

It is expected that the construction of the new wind farm will take place over an 18-month period, with up to 25 workers employed on the project at peak. Once in operation, the farm will support a small number of operation and maintenance jobs.

When operational, the farm will generate enough electricity to supply the needs of approximately 20,000 homes with green electricity and it will prevent the emission every year of 55,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases. In doing so, it will help to combat climate change and contribute to the country achieving its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets as well as contributing to the achievement of the EU’s mandatory renewable energy target set for Ireland.

Bord na Móna expects to submit the planning application for the project in early 2010.

Plans for Clare rail museum lodged

Plans have been lodged for what has been described as 'Ireland’s largest road and rail museum' at Moyasta, west Clare.

The museum is to form part of the restored West Clare Railway attraction, where visitors have trebled since the return of the 117-year-old Slieve Callan steam engine last August.

Announcing the plans, Jackie Whelan of the West Clare Railway said - “The museum will be the largest road and rail museum in the country.” Already, he said, he had taken delivery of five rail engines to be placed in the museum.

With the plans lodged with Clare County Council, Mr Whelan said he hoped construction of the museum will begin early in 2010.

Mr Whelan also announced plans to extend the restored West Clare Railway a further 2.5 miles next year. He confirmed he is in negotiations with the National Roads Authority (NRA) on the rail line crossing the national secondary route between Kilrush and Kilkee.

The west Clare businessman said he plans to extend the rail line to Kilrush. He said - “There are a few objections to it, but we’re very hopeful.” Mr Whelan said that it was very important for west Clare’s tourism sector that the museum project would proceed.

Already, Mr Whelan has spent over €500,000 on the Slieve Callan engine in a 10-year restoration project.

The Slieve Callan powered the West Clare Railway between 1892 and 1952, before being exhibited on a plinth at Ennis railway station until 1996, when Mr Whelan in a daring raid took possession of it and brought it back to Moyasta to commence its restoration.

The government had closed the loss-making West Clare Railway in 1961. After the Slieve Callan’s first trip since restoration on the restored two miles of track last August, Mr Whelan told a crowd - “It is my intention, while I am this side of the ground, to extend the railway to the towns of Kilkee and Kilrush in west Clare.”

The Irish Times

Drivers head for the harp to beat city jams

Beleaguered motorists in Dublin will be hoping for a noticeable improvement in traffic, with the opening of a new €60m bridge.

The landmark 'harp'-shaped Samuel Beckett Bridge has been officially opened ahead of schedule by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Emer Costello.

It is expected the alternative route across the city will mean less traffic congestion on an already clogged-up O'Connell Street and other central zones.

The new structure arrived in Dublin in May, having travelled from Rotterdam on a 90-metre barge. It has four traffic lanes, cycle tracks and footpaths and has the capacity to be used by bus and light rail services in the future.

Chair of the council's transport committee, Andrew Montague, said he believes the bridge will ease congestion. "Traffic will be able to divert away from the city centre core. People who want to get to the other side of town will not have to go through that (core) area," he said.

He added that the big problem was that people crossing the city were using the "spine" of O'Connell Street and College Green, even though they did not want to stop in the centre. "We pushed ahead with it to get it open before Christmas."

Designed by world-famous Spanish architect and engineer, Dr Santiago Calatrava, the bridge took seven days to travel from Rotterdam. The cable-stayed bridge is designed to be a landmark feature of the city, evoking the image of a harp.

Some €10m of the €60m cost of the project was provided by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA). Paul Maloney, chief executive of the DDDA, said - "With a growing number of people living, working and visiting Docklands, it is great to see another part of the transport facilities nearing completion.

"Once opened, this landmark bridge will provide an important link between the north and south quays and will facilitate easier access to the National Convention Centre and the O2."

The crossing will join Sir John Rogerson's Quay on the south side of the River Liffey with Guild Street and North Wall Quay on the north side of the river.

Dempsey releases a draft cycle design manual, for public consultation

As part of the Government's new National Cycle Policy Framework, the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey TD, has announced a public consultation process on new guidelines for cycle design in Ireland.

The new guidelines will supersede the existing manual - which dates from 1997 - and will reflect international best practice. The draft guidelines have been developed by a steering group comprising representatives of local authorities, transport agencies and other related organisations and co-ordinated by the Dublin Transportation Office.

For the purposes of technical rigour, the draft has been reviewed and assessed by a group of international experts in cycle design.

Minister Dempsey said - "The National Cycle Policy Framework, which I launched in April this year, calls for a radical new approach to provision for cycling, so that a culture of cycling can be created in Ireland. The new guidelines will be a critical element in the delivery of this objective and in the promotion of a new way of thinking about how we use our streets."

The draft guidelines go beyond simply setting out design parameters for cycle routes. They also address the need to provide adequately for cyclists in sharing road space and the broader aim of ensuring appropriate (and lower) traffic speeds to encourage larger numbers of cyclists.

The Minister continued - "The guidelines are not cast in stone at this stage. Even when the final version is published in the new year, the guidelines will be dynamic - to be updated electronically as is needed."

The Minister said, in conclusion, that details of the draft are available from the National Transport Authority ( and he urged the public to submit their comments to the National Transport Authority by Friday 8 January 2010.

Government endorses Limerick Regeneration Programme

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr John Gormley TD and the Minister for Housing and Local Services, Mr. Michael Finneran, TD have announced that the Government has endorsed the overall vision for a ten-year transformation of the Limerick Regeneration areas set out in the Limerick Regeneration Programme.

The Ministers have also requested the relevant Departments and Agencies to complete the remaining work required to finalise the Programme by the end of the first quarter of 2010, for final consideration by the Government at that stage.

“The vision set out in the Programme prepared by the Limerick Regeneration Agencies has the full support of Government,” said Minister Gormley. “Work will now advance on a range of issues - particularly in relation to the detailed costings and phasing of the implementation of the Programme and the mechanisms to leverage essential private investment in the areas, in order to deliver, in a sustainable manner, the much needed integrated physical, social and economic regeneration of the combined Regeneration areas of Moyross, Southill, St. Mary’s Park Estate and Ballinacurra Weston.”

There are many strands to the Programme, which will be drawn together in the period to the end of Q1 2010. These include -

* mechanisms for channelling funding from other Government Departments/Agencies, from within their overall budgets, to support, in particular, the social and economic regeneration programme - a consultative cross-Departmental/Agency process, led by the DEHLG, is being initiated for this purpose;
* leveraging the essential - but scarce - private investment required to underpin the overall success of the regeneration programme - an inter-departmental review of the options in this regard will be carried out - and
* determining the appropriate phasing of the Programme, the intended mix of demolition, refurbishment and new build and the projected costs - having regard to the better value now available in the economy generally. The next steps involved will be set out in an implementation plan for the physical regeneration works.

Minister Finneran, commenting on the Government decision, said - “the main focus now is to develop a structured prioritised programme of works to be included in phase one of the regeneration programme, with a view to going back to Government with a support framework and proposed associated funding arrangements.

"My Department, the Regeneration Agencies, the relevant local authorities and the wider range of Government Departments and State Agencies involved will be working intensively on this over the next few months.”

Both Ministers highlighted the investment already made in the Regeneration areas over the last two years and the Government’s continued commitment to the Regeneration Programme.

“Since mid-2007, funding of some €55m has been provided to support a range of early interventions in the Limerick Regeneration Areas. This investment has supported the necessary demolition and relocation process, the advancement of the physical planning process and the promotion of social inclusion measures, which have already begun to yield results in terms of the stabilisation and improved living conditions in the areas and will be sustained by further investment in the future,” said Minister Finneran.

Looking to the future, Minister Gormley referred to the challenges presented by the changed economic climate and the much more constrained Government fiscal position and indicated that “notwithstanding these difficulties, I will be continuing to prioritise the requirements of Regeneration programmes, such as in Limerick, within the overall pool of resources available to my Department’s Housing Programme and this will be evident again when it comes to making funding allocations for 2010.

"One of the crucial pieces of work now to be taken forward is to establish mechanisms for channelling funding from the wider range of relevant investment programmes in support of the Regeneration initiative. I look forward to the completion of this and other outstanding work over the course of the first quarter of next year, so that Government can finalise its consideration of the issues involved.”

Thursday 10 December 2009

Final NO to plan for Marlton Quarter in Wicklow Town

AN BORD Pleanála has sounded the death knell for a planned major development aimed at revitalising Wicklow Town's struggling business sector.

Lusra Teoranta had lodged an appeal to the planning board after Wicklow County Council refused permission for the Marlton Quarter development. But An Bord Pleanála agreed with the council and turned down the appeal.

The mixed retail, commercial and residential development was to include a shopping mall, retail units, multiplex cinema, medical centre, leisure facilities, art centre, youth centre, hotel and leisure centre, bowling alley, pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Wicklow's mayor, Irene Winters, strongly believed the development could have been hugely beneficial to the town. THE HUGE Marlton Quarter Retail and Commercial Development now looks dead in the water after An Bord Pleanála turned down an appeal against earlier refusal by Wicklow County Council.

The mixed use retail/commercial and residential development was to include a shopping centre, retail units, a cinema, medical centre, hotel, restaurants, offices and 408 residential units.

In August of 2008, Wicklow County Council refused planning permission for the major retail development, causing considerable anger amongst some local councilors and developers. However, those opposed to the development claimed it would help to kill off shopping along the town's Main Street and centre if it were to get the go-ahead.

An appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanála by Lusra Teoranta care of Simon Clear and Associates of 3 Terenure Road West, Terenure, Dublin and the site was inspected on November 12 2008 and January 18 of 2009.

The board decided to refuse permission, as recommended by the inspector, and outlined a number of reasons for their decisions.

'It is considered that, by reason of its size and scale, the proposed development would be excessive having regard to the core area of Wicklow town and would not link effectively with the existing town centre so that there is commercial synergy between the development and town,' states the report.

Wicklow People

Co. Clare cycle product in Lonely Planet's world top ten

Flan Quilligan, Shannon Development, Tourism Product Development Manager has welcomed the news that Co Clare tourism cycling routes have been voted in the world top ten of the Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2010’ guide.

Mr Quilligan said - ”We are delighted that Co. Clare has been named in the top ten super cycling routes in the world by the Lonely Planet ‘Best in Travel 2010’ guide. This is a testament to the amount of work that has gone into the development of the tourism cycling product in County Clare in recent times.

”The Lonely Planet's guide has put Clare cycling centre stage - ranking them with nine other top cycle routes around the world, including the US, Canada, France New Zealand and the UK."

Highlighting what has been achieved to-date, Mr Quilligan added - “Under the Shannon Development-led €2 million Shannon Region Trails Programme, a number of new tourism cycling routes and tracks were developed in recent times. These works were undertaken in partnership with Clare County Council and with financial support from Fáilte Ireland.

"Among these include the new Doolin cycling hub, which incorporates four new looped walks in the North Clare area. These will also form part of a new Shannon Region cycling network being established by Shannon Development and linked to the national cycling network.

“Currently, 102,000 overseas visitors participate in cycling holidays in Ireland annually, generating €78m in annual revenue. Being featured in this prestigious travel guide will have a direct benefit in the growth of cycling tourism in County Clare. The fact that the Lonely Planet Guide recommends that Co. Clare should be on ‘every cyclist’s wish list' is a great endorsement of our product.

"I had the good fortune recently to meet Tony Wheeler, Co-founder of the Lonely Planet travel guide and I expressed our appreciation to him,” he concluded.

The Co. Clare cycling product has been receiving a high profile in recent times. This summer, world famous US cyclist Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France, sampled some of County Clare’s new cycle trails. During his visit, he expressed his love of Ireland and, in particular, the new cycling trails and said their development made county Clare a wonderful place to cycle.

Gormley vows to act decisively over Dublin docklands authority

MINISTER for the Environment John Gormley has pledged to “act decisively” when he receives the corporate governance reports on finance and planning from the chair of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA).

He has ruled out for the moment a Fine Gael call to bring the DDDA within the remit of the Comptroller Auditor General but said he would keep the role of the comptroller auditing the authority “under review”.

The Minister was responding to Fine Gael environment spokesman Phil Hogan’s private member’s Bill to bring the authority within the comptroller’s remit and allow the comptroller to carry out special reports on the authority’s activities.

Mr Hogan said the Minister and Fianna Fáil had “serious questions to answer” about the authority and its purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site and he believed that opposing the Bill could only be seen as “an attempt to avoid political accountability”.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (Amendment) Bill he said would allow the comptroller to launch a full investigation into the authority, which he claimed was “hijacked by developers and Anglo-Irish Bank executives and the taxpayer now faces a bill of millions” as the Government seemed set to bail out the authority which had losses of €27 million last year.

For the comptroller to investigate an authority at least 50 per cent of its funding must come from the exchequer. The Minister said the authority’s losses were expected to be reduced to €10 million by the end of 2009 and “the authority is aiming to return to a break-even position in 2011 on its operating costs”.

Mr Hogan described the authority as a “financial septic tank” and said “the comptroller has special investigatory powers that expose waste of taxpayer’s money and highlights poor financial decisions. This was recently best demonstrated through its special report into Fás.”

Irish Times

New Luas extension through Docklands opens

THE NEW Luas extension in Dublin, which will run between Busaras/Connolly station and the Point, was roundly praised by passengers last night, many of whom were attending the Lily Allen concert at the O2.

“It’s brilliant – so handy,” DCU student Chantall Halley enthused on her way to the gig.

Rodrigo Ferrera from Brazil said the route extension meant he could travel directly from Tallaght, where he lived, to work in the O2. “It’s cheaper than the bus. Normally, I would get the Luas or the bus to O’Connell Street or Abbey Street and then I walk for 15 or 20 minutes. So it’s very nice now that it’s winter.”

Thomas Brady and his wife, Jean, were availing of yesterday’s once-off free travel on the route. “I worked here 20 years ago when Mayor Street was all run down flats.” Mr Brady said. “It’s marvellous to see the change.”

Speaking at the opening of the line yesterday, Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to complete Transport 21 projects in Dublin in spite of anticipated budget cuts. He said that while the original timeframe for metro and Luas lines would not be met, both Metro North and Dart Underground would go ahead. Two further Luas extensions would open in the next two years and planning would continue for the remaining proposed Luas lines in the city.

Of Metro North and Dart Underground, Mr Dempsey said: “I can give an absolute assurance that planning goes ahead. Both of them are in the capital programme . . . They have to go through the planning process and the Government is absolutely committed to both of those projects.”

He added: “There are a couple of more Luas extensions that will open over the next couple of years and further ones that are in planning. We intend to ensure that we can bring all of those through planning and design and then we will build as we have the money to build.”

Frank Allen, chief executive of the Railway Procurement Agency, said “with a fair wind” getting Metro North through the planning process, it could begin construction towards the end of 2010.

He said a railway order application would be made to An Bord Pleanála for the city centre Luas line linking the Red and Green routes, continuing out via Grangegorman to Broombridge, in 2010.

The Cherrywood Luas extension is due to open in September 2010 while the Luas extension via Citywest to Saggart was scheduled for 2011.

Irish Times

FG in call over Poolbeg incinerator

Fine Gael has called on Dublin City Council to prevent the commencement of construction work on the Poolbeg incinerator over alleged non-compliance with the planning procedure.

Late last month, an announcement was made by the council that it would start construction of the 600,000 tonne incinerator within weeks, a move then described by Minister for the Environment John Gormley as “most unwise” and “foolhardy”.

This morning, Fine Gael Councillor Catherine Noone called on Dublin City Council to prevent construction work from commencing on the site.

She claimed a planning requirement that developers carry out comprehensive reports on wildlife was not fully met.

“Under the conditions of the planning permission, the developers are required to submit reports for public inspection. The two reports that have not been available are a water fowl survey and a fish diversity survey."

"As a matter of extreme urgency, I am calling on Dublin City Council’s planning enforcement department to ensure that construction does not commence because these conditions have not been made", she said.

Ms Noone called on Mr Gormley "for once and for all to intervene and permanently halt the construction of the Incinerator which is due to commence in a matter of days.”

Mr Gormley told The Irish Times last month he would introduce a cap on incineration which would limit the facility to burning just half its annual waste capacity.

Irish Times