Wednesday 21 July 2010

An Taisce claims council 'disingenuous'

AN TAISCE has accused Dublin City Council of being “disingenuous in the extreme” in its response to a planning investigation ordered by Minister for the Environment John Gormley.

The council was selected for investigation following complaints from An Taisce to Mr Gormley that permission was given for developments which were in breach of the city development plan in relation to height, scale zoning and conservation issues.

Five other local authorities were selected for investigation based on separate complaints in relation to their planning practices.

In his response to the investigation Dublin city manager John Tierney accused An Taisce of “gross misinterpretation” of facts, substantial inaccuracies, and slurs against the integrity of council officials in the claims submitted to Mr Gormley.

An Taisce yesterday said the claims it made were backed up in its submission by references to the planning decisions which the council had made, while the council had failed to make a detailed response.

The council’s response to the planning investigation was a “systematic evasion of the facts” it said.

Attempting to play down the significance of the 23 planning cases identified by An Taisce by stating that 18,000 applications had been determined by the city council in the same period was disingenuous in the extreme, An Taisce said. Those cases that were highlighted were of major significance such as the Carlton cinema site, the Arnotts site and the Jurys/ Berkeley Court site in Ballsbridge, it said.

Dublin City Council’s response also evaded the questions that were raised by An Taisce in relation to the council’s role in creating the property bubble through its planning decisions, An Taisce said.

Irish Times

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