Local Green Party Representative Joe O’Brien has described the recent decision by An Bord Pleanála to allow a 103 unit development in Hacketstown, Skerries as ‘outrageous, old style and bizarre’. Mr. O’Brien stated the following:
I was quite shocked when I heard that An Bord Pleanála allowed this development recently despite large number of significant and substantial objections and crucially their own Inspector’s report, which recommended that permission be refused.
The following is an excerpt from the An Bord Pleanála Inspectors report: it is considered that the low density of the proposed scheme would result in an inefficient and unsustainable pattern of development on scarce, serviced and zoned lands… the proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
Mr. O’Brien, continued: Frankly it feels like we have wound back the clock ten years to a time when developers ruled and were in the midst of playing their part in destroying the country. Were An Bord Pleanála living on the moon for the last ten years? It would certainly explain some past decisions, but one would have thought they were capable of learning from the grievous mistakes of the past.
Of course Fingal County Council have played a role here aswell and indeed this development will be a windfall for them in terms of the development levy. There is an unhealthy relationship continuing here though in that bad development is part of the reason why local authorities are low on funding and yet further bad development is being sanctioned which will help keep local authorities going.
It was somewhat ironic that this decision was made almost 1 year to the day that the Mahon Tribunal published its report and called for the establishment of an Independent Planning Regulator. Sadly it is clear that the Government has no concrete plan to implement this key recommendation so unique communities like Skerries will continue to be negatively impacted by such bizarre decisions.