Proper planning procedures thrown out the window for Shell – Ferris
Sinn Féin Environment and Natural Resources Spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has severely criticised a decision by the Department of the Environment to grant planning permission without approval from An Bord Pleanála to Shell E&P Limited for a key section of the Corrib onshore pipeline at Glengad in County Mayo.
Planning permission was granted via the controversial Strategic Infrastructure Act.
Deputy Ferris said, "When the Strategic Infrastructure Bill was making its way through the Oireachtas I warned that it would be used to push through the Corrib gas pipeline project without proper consultation with the community affected.
"The decision of the Department of the Environment to grant planning permission without approval from An Bord Pleanála to Shell E&P Limited for a key section of the Corrib onshore pipeline at Glengad in County Mayo shows that my concern at the time was fully warranted.
"This decision flies in the face of local democratic accountability and the legislation used to facilitate it was designed for exactly that purpose. I am also aware that former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern first mentioned this legislation after a meeting with Shell E&P who had apparently raised concerns over the planning process here.
"Both Green Party Ministers should have the political integrity to stand over their position in relation to the Corrib gas pipeline. While in opposition both Ministers were opposed to the development of an onshore pipeline. However, now that they are in Government they have turned their backs on the people of Mayo and are actively supporting. In fact it was Environment Minister John Gormley's own department which has by-passed An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for this latest phase of the project.
"It is a disgrace that the community has been by-passed in such a manner when such serious concerns around health and safety and the affect on the community have not been addressed." ENDS