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CHASE Press Release - 17/02/06

The publication of the National Infrastructure Bill confirms that the already restricted involvement by ordinary citizens in the Planning Process is to be even further eroded by this proposed piece of legislation. The Bill proposes that major infrastructure projects now go directly to a section of An Bord Pleanala for determination without the checks and balances of consultation at community level.

The principles of proper planning rely on consultation with local people and their public representatives in regard to local land use (Local Area Plans) while taking account of National Policy. A spokesperson for CHASE said "This Bill makes participation by the public even more difficult and it is assumed that the Planning Process will be expedited. It will not .We know from participating in the process that the major delays we have encountered have nothing to do with the Planning procedures but are the result of lengthy delays in the courts."

"CHASE has no confidence in reassurances from the Minister for the Environment that the public will have more opportunity to comment on major infrastructure projects. This is an insult to citizens who know only too well the financial and personal cost of challenging the might of major companies .We know from experience that the Bord will rely on Government Policy when asked to determine controversial projects rather than considering the projects on their merits. They ignored the findings of their own senior planner at the Oral Hearing for the Ringaskiddy Incinerator and hid behind Government Policy to enable them to grant Planning Permission."

"If the Minister had any concern for the citizens affected by such infrastructure projects he could even up the playing field by providing local communities with an Attorney General Scheme to assist them to participate fully in the Planning Process. But we know who has the ear of this Minister, it’s big business interests."

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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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