Reilly demands that Housing Minister meet Meath County Council to discuss An Bord Pleanala's subvertion of the Planning Act
Sinn Féin Councillor Joe Reilly has demanded that Housing Minister Noel Ahern meet with the members of Meath County Council immediately to discuss the decision of An Bord Pleanala to grant planning permission for a large residential development in Johnstown without any provision for social and affordable housing.' Councillor Reilly said 'It is the Minister's job to uphold this legislation. This decision is a disgrace and should be immediately reversed."
Councillor Reilly said:
"The decision of An Bord Pleanala to grant planning permission for a large residential development in Johnstown, Navan without any provision for social and affordable housing is totally unacceptable and in clear breach of Part V of the Planning Act. Part 5 of the Planning Act is very clear - there must be social and affordable housing as part of the development or the developer must provide the equivalent in money or land to the council or build the houses elsewhere. None of which is part of the planning permission for this development.
‰I am demanding that Housing Minister Noel Ahern immediately meet with the Council to discuss this matter. It is his job to ensure that the Planning Act is implemented in full and not subverted as has clearly happened in this case. This decision is a disgrace and should be reversed immediately.
‰There are also problems in relation to the lack of infrastructure in this area. Johnstown consists of over 1500 houses, all constructed in the last ten years. It has no community or resource centre and an old convent house functioning as a school. There are no playgrounds for young children. The physical infrastructure is so weak that residents of Cairn Hill protested outside of the Council office over the shortage water at the weekends.
‰This is not the first time that there has been concern at decisions from An Bord Pleanala. There needs to be more openness and accountability in how they operate and they should have to tell the public the rationale behind their decisions. I call on An Bord Pleanala to come out publicly and explain to how they reached this decision.
"There is a desperate shortage of housing in Meath. There are almost 1,300 people on the housing waiting list across the county and many more who are currently priced out of the housing market and forced to live in rented accommodation. The provision of social and affordable housing is essential to these families and the decision of An Bord Pleanala will be a bitter blow to them."ENDS