Monday 20 September 2010

Adjourn Corrib gas hearing, An Taisce says

AN TAISCE has called on An Bord Pleanála to adjourn the ongoing hearing into the controversial Corrib gas project in Belmullet, Co Mayo.

In an 80-page submission on behalf of the national trust, Attracta Ui Bhroin said yesterday either the hearing must be adjourned or new information by Shell must be disallowed.

Citing the particular pertinence of “the very technical nature of the new borehole log information, presented by the applicant after the hearing reconvened”, she noted that observers did not have time to properly assess this, as was their legal right. She referred to legal requirements under EU legislation (Directive 85/337/EEC).

Earlier this summer, Minister for the Environment John Gormley issued Shell with a foreshore licence to carry out investigative works for a 4.9km tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay, a special area of conservation.

The resumed planning appeals board hearing is under the remit of the Strategic Infrastructure Act and is deliberating on a revised application by Shell, which involves tunnelling a section of the pipeline route under the Sruwaddacon estuary.

Ms Ui Bhroin also said: “Notwithstanding the supposed strategic importance of this initiative the matters of law must be observed and cannot be set aside. It is An Taisce’s contention that the application should be refused on the following legal grounds:

The application is simply out of time.

The application is invalid as there is no application for retention of elements of the development, which have been already constructed without planning permission – and which are part of the proposed development – the subject of this application.”

The hearing continues next week.

Irish Times

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