An Bord Pleanála Refuses Permission to Devil’s Glen Equstrian Centre

August 24th, 2009 -- Posted in Active, Threats | No Comments »

An Bord Pleanála confirms the Wicklow Council’s decision to refuse permission on an appeal by the Devil’s Glen Equestrian Centre regarding the gallops. The two reasons were regarding changing the existing entrance and damaging wall, trees and hedgerows, and that the area being prone to flooding and “the site cannot be drained satisfactorily, notwithstanding the proposed use of a proprietary wastewater treatment system. The proposed development would, therefore, be prejudicial to public health.” This is a good decision and will protect the river from certain pollution, but does not address the fact that the work for the gallops has been done without permission and has caused increased soil runoff into the river. Since the gallops was completed against an order of the Wicklow County Council to cease, we suspect that this will not be the end of this story.

Wicklow County Council Directed to Prepare an EIS by An Bord Pleanála

June 30th, 2009 -- Posted in Active, Water Scheme | No Comments »

Pat yourselves on the back! We have achieved the result we wanted from the hard work of everyone. An Taisce, Friends of the Murrough and Ourselves asked An Bord Pleanála to intercede in the matter and last Friday we received notification of their decision.
Direct the local authority to prepare an environmental impact statement in respect of the said proposed development based on the reason and considerations below.

Having regard to the sensitive nature of the River Vartry (a designated salmonid river) which discharges to the sea a short distance downstream at the Murrough Wetlands (a costal area designated both as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA), to the likely interaction between the proposed groundwater abstraction and the flow in the river and the possible negative impacts on the ecology of the river system, particularly at low flow, it is considered that the proposed development should be subjected to environmental impact assessment.
In deciding not to accept the Inspector’s recommendation that an environmental impact statement was not required, the Board noted his comments to the effect that the impacts on the River Vartry fisheries were likely and impacts on the SAC and SPA were possible. The Board considered that an environmental impace assessment was appropriate having regard to the sensitivity of the river and estuarine eco-systems.

This does not mean that it is over with the threat from the Water Scheme, only that the WCC must do this in the public eye. We will be pressing them for Local involvement and assistance in preparation of the EIS and that disclosures are made of all documents that might shed light on how much effect to the River they anticipated. (Currently we have requests for documents that have been refused by the WCC that are about to be released by the Commissioner of Information).

Reply From Pat Kavanagh

June 14th, 2009 -- Posted in Active, Politics | No Comments »

Thank you for your support. It is a shame alright. However, it’s far more important that groups of dedicated people continue to work together in a cohesive manner to ensure that our environment and natural resources are protected. In the words of Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Wicklow County Council Withdraws Plan8 for the Moment

March 1st, 2009 -- Posted in Active, Water Scheme | No Comments »

Good news from the Wicklow County Council that they have decided to withdraw the application for the Plan8 temporarily, while they wait for information to assess whether an EIA will be necessary.  There are several open issues still to be resolved, which are:

1- Have the CPOs been removed from An Bord Pleanala? It would be a great waste of money and resources if they have not been stopped or suspended.

2- The Wicklow Co. Co. has commissioned McCarthy Hyder to do a simple study.  McCarthy Hyder had originally advised the WCC that an environmental study was not necessary. It is our opinion that this advice was not in the best interest of the River and that the eventual author of the EIA will be someone that exhibits a bi-partisan concern over the river and that the process is monitored by An Bord Pleanála, the Fisheries and the EPA.

3- There were over 60 objections all asking for an EIA. It is certainally clear that there is sufficient public concern to make one manditory under EU and Irish Law.

Can everyone that objected and has received an acknowledgement from the Wicklow Co. Co. to please write back to them, thanking them for re-thinking and pointing out to them the points above?