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An Bord Pleanála

Council to ‘engage immediately’ on Blake’s Corner project

CLARE County Council is set to engage immediately with affected landowners as it bids to progress a new relief road in Ennistymon that will alleviate traffic problems in the town. Following approval by An Bord Pleanála for the Council’s N67/N85 Inner Relief Road Ennistymon (Blake’s Corner) Compulsory Purchase Order 2020, the local authority is commencing plans to procure a contractor for the works at the earliest juncture. Should the engagement process go smoothly with attendant approvals from Transport Infrastructure Ireland, work could begin on the project early in 2024. Senior Engineer with Clare County Council, Seán Lenihan, added: “Following the decision by An Bord Pleanála, we will now arrange to complete the detailed design and tender documentation required to procure a contractor for the works at the earliest juncture. “We will also commence the engagement process with affected land and property owners in terms of agreeing compensation packages and other associated arrangements required.” Clare County Council published the CPO in …

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Fears expressed over Aughinish impact on estuary dolphins

GRAVE concerns about the possible impact on dolphins from the expansion of a controversial Bauxite Residue Disposal Area (BRDA) for the largest alumina plant in Europe were outlined to An Bord Pleanála recently. An Bord Pleanála has given Rusal Aughinish Alumina Limited (AAL) the green light to deposit an extra eight million m3 of bauxite residue in total at its plant, despite trenchant opposition from Futureproof Clare, local farmers, Environmental Trust Ireland and environmental groups. This decision will allow the Russian-owned company to carry out a major expansion of its Bauxite Residue Disposal Area (BRDA), extending the life of the plant for an extra nine years up to 2039. In a submission to the appeals’ board on behalf of Dolphin Watch, Mary Kate Bolger, who has a qualification in zoology and marine biology specialising in bottlenose dolphins, outlined the creatures play a vital role in the eco-system by balancing populations of predatory fish and squid thereby protecting the entire eco-system …

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Planning board row ‘rocks public trust’, says Clare senator

TRUST in An Bord Pleanála is at an all time low, in the view of Clare’s Fianna Fáil Senator, after alleged conflicts of interest at the appeals board.  Speaking to The Champion, Senator Timmy Dooley stopped short of backing calls from his party colleague Junior Minister Niall Collins, who insisted that the board should be scrapped.  Controversy engulfed the agency in recent months and led Deputy Chairperson Paul Hyde to step aside, ‘without prejudice’, pending a probe into allegations of conflicts of interest.  Senator Dooley said the matter has “rocked public trust”. “Most people I’ve dealt with on planning issues believed the board to be completely objective and independent,” he said. “As public representatives, we have the capacity to make representations to the local authority on planning matters, but we are precluded in law from ever engaging with An Bord Pleanála. “It has always been seen as beyond the reach of local politicians or anyone who would seek to influence …

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Plans lodged for €65m, 289-home development in Clare

Plans have been lodged with An Bord Pleanála for the single largest ever private housing scheme for Ennis. Availing of the Government’s ‘fast track’ planning system for large housing developments, one of the country’s largest house building firms, Glenveagh Homes has lodged plans for the €65-million 289-home scheme direct to An Bord Pleanala. The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme is made up of 125 three-bed townhouses, 74 3/4-bed semi-detached homes, 66 two-bed townhouses, 12 two-bed duplex and 12 one-bed maisonettes. The scheme – which comes with 488 car-parking spaces – will also provide a 60 place creche. The site with an address at Ballymacaula, Drumbiggle, Keelty, Circular Road fronts into the Ennis bypass link road between the roundabout near Ennis Golf Club and the roundabout on the N85 Lahinch Road. The 11.32 hectare site – which has a net developable area of 8.9 hectares – is located adjacent to Ennis golf club. As part of the purchase agreement for the …

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