Locals in East Meath are all too familiar with the Old Mill saga. The Old Mill is a 17th century Mill, one of the oldest buildings in Julianstown and steeped in history and heritage for the village. It has been derelict since 2007 and the scene of illegal dumping, traveller encampment and other anti-social behaviour. (see here, here, here and here for previous updates)
Under pressure from locals Meath County Council acted in August and issued a notice to the owners of the Old Mill under the Derelict Sites Act to carry out certain works. A concerned local company filed a formal request with the Council asking it to determine if the works required planning permission.
The Council has now made its decision finding that the major works including demolition of parts of the Old Mill and the infilling of openings in the Mill House do require planning permission since they involve material works to protected structures.
The formal declaration is copied below or can be downloaded here.
You will be aware that a group of travelers occupied the Old Mill Derelict Site for a period of over two weeks recently. The travelers have now gone leaving behind an appalling mess of litter, rubbish and scrap. (please see examples in the attached photographs)
The owners of the site are now trying to clean up and secure the site.
Meath County Council must bear a significant degree of responsibility for the nuisance and irritation occasioned by the travelers to local residents and businesses arising from their failure over the last 10 years, to deal with with this derelict site.
While the travelers may now have gone the underlying issue of the dereliction of the site remains. Local residents are losing patience with the Council on this matter.
FP Logue Solicitors acting for a local client, have placed Meath County Council on notice that legal action will be initiated against them if they fail to place the Old Mill Derelict Site in Julianstown, on the Derelict Sites Register, by 21st July 2017.
Some of the relevant correspondence with MCC can be viewed on the attached documents.
Since the Old Mill Hotel burned down in 2007 the site has been an ugly ruin in the village of Julianstown.
In June 2008 MCC officials declared the site “Derelict” thus obliging them to enter the site on the Derelict Sites Register in accordance with the provisions of the Derelict Sites Act, 1990.
In the intervening 9 years MCC have failed to comply with the law in respect of this matter.
County Wide Issue
The Derelict sites register published by MCC contains only 8 entries, the last of which was made in 2010. 7 of these of these entries are in respect of the village of Kells and 1 in respect of Ratoath. No other entries have been made in respect of the entirety of the rest of the county. It is understood from MCC meeting minutes that there are approximately 400 derelict sites in the county. Other than the above, none of these sites none of these sites has been entered on the register. This appears to represent a systemic failure by MCC to act in accordance with their legal obligations.
The people of Meath would be entitled to know what is going on in this regard in MCC.
See below for the legal correspondence. Download here.
The briefing, prepared for Deputy Imelda Munster, analysed the effect of removing the Donore Road sliproad tolls. These tolls are a bone of contention for the retail parks located at the motorway exits in Drogheda since they impose a toll on traffic using the M1 to travel from one side of Drogheda to the other. The conclusion of the briefing was that removing these tolls would increase traffic by 4,500 per day in Julianstown.
This is the crucial quote from the briefing:
It has always been recognised by the Authority, and borne out in traffic studies undertaken, that the old N1 (existing R132) route would continue to attract significant traffic volumes due to the commercial/residential traffic movements in and around Drogheda town, the movements to/from Drogheda, and the movements to/from Drogheda Port.
TII goes on the lay the blame on the local authorities for granting planning permission to the retail parks in the full knowledge that the slip road tolls were in place.
It is quite troubling that this information has now emerged. As far back as the 1980s, locals predicted this would happen but were constantly reassured by the authorities that the new motorway would solve all of Julianstown’s problems (see articles below).
This is the report by TII, download here (scroll down for some historical articles).
We have just be provided with a report commissioned by Transport Infrastructure Ireland into what effect removing the tolls on the slip roads at Donore would have. The report was released to the NGO Right to Know and passed to us.
While the report concludes that tolling should not be removed, it acknowledges that overall on the M1 toll avoidance is extremely low. This now puts to bed once and for all the attitude that the M1 toll is the cause of the traffic chaos in Julianstown and East Meath.
In welcome news Councillor Sharon Tolan has revealed that Meath Co Co has agreed to spend €300k over the next year or two on traffic management infrastructure and will progress planning for a by-pass of the village.
After intense lobbying by locals, the penny has dropped with the local authority that the renewed housing construction in the East Meath region is going to seriously harm the environment and the health and safety of people in the picturesque village.
The announcement of projects that have been on the cards since 2013 shows how important it is to make sure that the County Development Plan process delivers specific measures targeted at environmental issues such as traffic pollution in Julianstown.
We at East Meath look forward to these important measures and to real progress towards removing the 20,000 vehicles per day using the Main Street in Julianstown.
Gormanston College Parents Association has asked that we circulate the attached poster announcing an Afternoon Tea Event to be held on 25th March at the castle. The event is to fund-raise for the college and to help support cancer research.
The event will feature a harp ensemble, a brief history of the castle and a short tour of the ground floor.
There will be three sittings -11.15 am, 1.15 pm and 3.15 pm.
Tickets can be had by ringing the following number which will be manned by the parents association.