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PRESS RELEASE - 8th April 05
CHASE outlines its concerns about the proposed National Infrastructure Board

CHASE outlined its concerns about the proposed National Infrastructure Board at the Institute of Planners conference held at Marybourgh House Hotel Cork on 8thApril. It is proposed that the Board be set up to fast track major infractural projects to speed up the planning process. It is envisaged that these projects would go directly to the Board, effectively by passing the Council phase of planning.

Ms O Leary in her presentation outlined CHASE’S experience of the planning process. She highlighted the value of the consultation process which helped the communities of Cork Harbour identify many problems, including difficulties with the planning application, the fact that there is no Government Department with responsibility for monitoring the health of the Communities in the area, the lack of interaction and consultation between the various Government Departments involved with a planning application, to mention just a few problems.

These significant issues were unearthed as the Community are the key stakeholder who ultimately will have to live with the facility. She explained that if the community are excluded, the planning process will be looser as a key player will not be able to engage with the process in a meaningful way and the process then cannot be seen to be transparent and impartial. The fact that so much control already lies with the County Manager and not with the elected representatives leaves communities feeling vulnerable. This further erosion of Democracy will do nothing to reassure them.

Consultation is a difficult process. Communities are uniquely positioned to identify problems, as they are the main stakeholders. The value of this unique perspective cannot be understated in the planning process - it is worthwhile in the long term. We have seen too many botched jobs (e-voting, the Bertie Bowl, wind farms) - lets get it right this time.

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For further information:

Mary Hurley, CHASE PRO, 021 4813070 086 8162448
Mary O’Leary, CHASE Chairperson, 021 4811952 086 8177737


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
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