In February Protect East Meath made observations to Meath County Council about a planning application seeking to build 21 houses in Julianstown. The application proposes destroying party of a proposed Natural Heritage Area, development on land zoned for high amenity and on areas prone to flooding. There were also concerns about interference with Julianstown bridge (a protected structure) and assessment of protected birds and bats.
Since our observation went in the county council has asked the developer to supply extensive further information. You can download our submission here and the request for further information here.
The High Court gave leave this morning to Protect East Meath and Highlands Residents Association to bring a legal challenge against a decision of An Bord Pleanála granting planning permission to Trailford Limited for a massive 661-unit housing development off the Rathmullan Road in Drogheda.
The challenge alleges that An Bord Pleanála was not legally permitted to grant permission for a development on lands ear marked by Meath County Council as not suitable for development until the new County Development Plan is adopted, that the environmental assessments in relation to winter birds and bats were deficient and that the Bord erroneously failed to identify significant effects on cultural heritage due to the sites location in relation to the Battle of the Boyne.
The matter returns to court after Easter on 23 April when a timetable will be agreed and a hearing date assigned.
are significant issues with the Strategic Environmental Report which if
left unaddressed will result in an SEA procedure that is unlawful having
regard to the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive. In
particular the assessment of alternatives is defective. There are
numerous targets for which there are no relevant indicators and
conversely there are indicators that are unrelated to targets. Finally
the monitoring is seriously deficient.
needs to specific monitoring of significant environmental effects in
Julianstown Co Meath. To that end an expert report is presented showing
the R132 is almost at its theoretical capacity – therefore specific
monitoring of traffic growth is required. Furthermore bearing in mind
the purpose of monitoring the traffic growth needs to be monitored
annually and should be reported to Louth County Council, TII, the NTA
and the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport.
The local community in Julianstown is making air quality data available
to Meath County Council at little or no cost. This data needs to be
monitored in respect of emissions from vehicular traffic and solid fuel
burning. The monitoring results should be reported to the EPA and
Department of Health.
Protect East Meath today received confirmation that planning permission has been refused for a large housing development off the Mill Road.
This move comes after Protect East Meath pointed out several flaws in the proposal including serious traffic consequences for Julianstown and lack of certainty around impacts on protected bird species using the area.
A copy of the decision can be downloaded from here or you can read it below:
An Bord Pleanála last week granted planning permission for a 661 – unit development off the Rathmullan Road in Drogheda. The inspector’s report is included below. Protect East Meath is studying the decision and will update supporters shortly.
East Meath group given permission to challenge planning permission for large Drogheda development at the Marsh Road.
Nature protection, traffic congestion, noise and air pollution in Julianstown of major concern
The High Court today granted Protect East Meath
Limited permission to challenge a decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant
planning permission for a 450-unit development proposed by developer Ravala Limited for a site off the Marsh Road, East of Drogheda.
The challenge was brought by Protect East Meath,
an organisation aimed at ensuring the development in East Meath only takes
place with strong environmental protections.
The court challenge argues that the Drogheda Borough Council Development plan upon which the development relies is no longer in force, that proper surveys for birds and bats were not conducted and that neither the developer nor An Bord Pleanála gave proper consideration to the environmental impacts on Julianstown that would result from extra traffic generated by the development.
Fred Logue, solicitor for Protect East Meath said that “in consultation with local residents and the Julianstown and District Community Association, Protect East Meath made a submission to An Bord Pleanála pointing out that there was already chronic traffic congestion on the main street of Julianstown giving rise noise levels in excess of recommended environmental quality levels and the likelihood of serious air pollution.”
“Unfortunately this submission was effectively
ignored and no consideration was given to the effects of the serious pollution
on children in Whitecross national school or on residents who live and work in
EU law requires detailed environmental assessments
to be carried out on the effects of large developments including an assessment
of the effects on human health and in particular air pollution. Protect East Meath
argues that these assessments were inadequate or not done at all.
Mr Logue pointed out that concerns about the serious
health effects caused by heavy traffic are now well understood and it was a
serious omission by the Developer and An Bord Pleanála not to examine the consequences
for the village of Julianstown from increased traffic.
Mr Logue went on to point out that there are
already more than 20,000 vehicles a day pouring through the small village. This
amount of traffic is normally accommodated by a dual carriage way and not a
narrow residential street.
“Meath County Council has recently identified
traffic from Drogheda and East Meath as the source of the problems and has confirmed
that a Julianstown by-pass would save €80 million based on time savings alone.”
Mr Logue went on to say that he was confident
that once the correct environmental assessments were carried out it would
emerge that that the decision was not lawfully made and that increased traffic in Julianstown would lead to unacceptable pollution
in Julianstown and that permission would ultimately be refused
The draft Meath County Development plan is currently on display for public consultation. This plan sets the planning policies for the County for the next six years and gives an opportunity to have the Council agree to concrete steps to protect the environment in Julianstown by advancing a bypass of the village
The contents of the plan are decided by elected councillors and not officials therefore the more people that look for this the better chance there will be of progress.
The one thing councillors fear is losing votes.
Therefore we are asking you to sign this petition to show how many people are in favour of saving Julianstown
An Bord Pleanála published details that Rockmill has entered consultation with it around a proposal to build 201 appartments on a site to the North of Southgate shopping centre and to the South West of Grange Rath.
This brings to 2,322 the number of housing units in large developments that are in the pipeline for South Drogheda/East Meath which could lead to a population increase of up to 6,500 in the area (approximately the size of Fermoy). See below for an updated table with links