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Developer appeals rejection of expansion plans for Claregalway quarry

An appeal to An Bord Pleanála has been made against the county council’s decision to refuse planning permission for an expansion of a Claregalway quarry.

Harrington Concrete & Quarries sought a five year permission to extract rock from a 4.35 hectare site down to a dept of 5m using using explosives at an existing quarry at Ardgaineen, Claregalway.

However Galway County Council refused permission for the development after intense public opposition, with 44 public objections made to the plans.

Locals were concerned about potential danger to road users and pedestrians from the increased HGV traffic, pollution from dust and other materials thrown up by the quarry, and damage to property from blasting vibrations.

In refusing permission for the expansion of the quarry, Galway County Council cited the local road network as being inadequate for the increased level of vehicle traffic expected, and the effect that the operation of the quarry would have on local residents.

The local road is “deficient in terms of its width, composition, alignment and overall carrying capacity to serve a development of the nature and scale proposed,” the council said.

Granting permission for the development would therefore “endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and obstruction of road users” and would “have a detrimental impact on the capacity, safety, or operational efficiency of the local and national road network in the vicinity of the site”.

The council also said that based on the submissions it has received it wasn’t satisfied that the quarry wouldn’t “endanger the health and safety of persons occupying the site or adjoining the site and immediate surrounds and serious injure the amenities of property in the vicinity” due to the intensification of dust and noise from the site.

The appeal states that the county council erred in saying that the local road is inadequate for the increased traffic the development would bring, claiming that the council’s Roads & Transport Department did not state as much

Harrington also disputed the council’s claim that the increased dust and noise emissions, blasting vibrations, and increased traffic, could endanger the health and safety of people living nearby, saying that the Environmental Impact Assessment Report submitted with the original application contains enough information to show this would not be the case.

The appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanála on August 17, and a ruling is due from the board by December 21 of this year.

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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