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Sinn Féin refer planning irregularities in Wicklow to Mahon Tribunal

18 November, 2004

Wicklow Sinn Féin Chairperson David Gahan today confirmed that he had written to the Chairman of the Tribunal into Certain Planning Matters and Payments, Mr Justice Alan Mahon asking that the Tribunal investigate a number of very serious planning irregularities in County Wicklow.

David Gahan said

"Wicklow Sinn Féin has brought to the attention of the Mahon Tribunal irregularities and possible corruption in relation to Wicklow County Council and An Bord Pleanala.

"In our correspondence to the Chairman of the Tribunal we pointed out that these irregularities and possible corruption arise from the granting of planning permission by Wicklow Council/An Bord Pleanala to developers for the construction of hundreds of houses in exchange for those developers making a contribution to the amount of the full cost for the construction of a road linking Greystones and the N11. The construction of this road, under conditions of planning granted, should have been completed before completion or occupation of houses. This did not happen.

"I brought to Justice Mahon‚s attention a number of other alarming issues regarding the reason that the road is not yet completed. These included the discovery of an illegal dump on the route of the proposed road near the N11; Wicklow County Council‚s/An Bord Pleanala‚s knowledge of the existence of this illegal landfill prior to the granting of planning permission and subsequent awarding of a contract to construct this road knowing the difficulties that would arise; evidence of Wicklow County Council‚s/An Bord Pleanala‚s knowledge of the dump include allegations that Wicklow County Council actually used this landfill for a period of time and the fact that the illegal dump was the subject of circuit court planning and waste enforcement proceeding in 1998 and the fact that the consequence of this planning decision by Wicklow County Council/An Board Planala will result in an estimated cost of €21 million for re-routing the final section of the roadway.

"Sinn Féin believes that these issues and the possible corruption involved warrant investigation by the Mahon Tribunal and we believe that such an investigation would help tackle the culture of corruption and illegality in the form of illegal dumping which has thrived in Wicklow for far too long‰.ENDS

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