Written Answers - Planning Issues.

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 620 No. 101

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  377.  Dr. Twomey  Information on Liam Twomey  Zoom on Liam Twomey   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the consultation which took place regarding the agreement to grant a right of way to a company (details supplied) through Coillte woodlands at Ballythomas Hill, Gorey, County Wexford pending planning permission to extract stone from a quarry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19304/06]

  378.  Dr. Twomey  Information on Liam Twomey  Zoom on Liam Twomey   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the person responsible for agreeing a right of way through Coillte Woodlands at Ballythomas Hill, Gorey, County Wexford to a private developer, to develop a 17.5 hectare stone quarry pending planning permission from Wexford County Council; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19305/06]

  379.  Dr. Twomey  Information on Liam Twomey  Zoom on Liam Twomey   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   in regard to the development at a Coillte woodland at Ballythomas Hill, Gorey, County Wexford the Minister responsible when this decision was made; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that under the Wexford Development Plan 2001 this site and its environs is a designated sensitive area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19306/06]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I propose to take Questions Nos. 377 to 379, inclusive, together.

Coillte Teoranta was established as a private commercial company under the Forestry Act 1988 and day to day operational matters are the responsibility of the company. The granting of a right of way is a matter of an operational nature for Coillte.

The question of whether or not the development of this quarry should proceed is a matter for the competent planning authorities who will doubtless take into account any relevant environmental considerations. From enquiries with Coillte, I have confirmed that the proposed quarry is not on lands owned by the company and that they have indicated that, if the development is approved, they will not refuse access to the site across the lands which they do own in the area. I understand that it was Coillte’s District Manager who indicated, on behalf of the company, that it had no objection in principle to providing access. The question of granting a right of way, along with the associated public consultation, will only arise if the proposed development itself is approved by the planning authorities. The letter indicating that the Company had no objection in principle to a right of way over its lands was issued in December 2003.


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