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The court challenge argues that the Drogheda Borough Council Development plan upon which the development relies is no longer in force, that proper surveys for birds and bats were not conducted and that neither the developer nor An Bord Pleanála gave proper consideration to the environmental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 the village”
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
Details of the development
An Bord Pleanála Decision and Inspectors Report