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Sinn Féin calls on Taggart Homes not to contest Meath County Council's appeal to An Bord Pleanala

25 July, 2006


Sinn Féin Councillor Joe Reilly has called on property developers Taggart Homes  not to contest the appeal by Meath County Council regarding An Bord Pleanala’s failure to include the mandatory requirement for up to 20% of homes in their development in Johnstown, Navan to be made available for social and affordable housing.  Councillor Reilly said ‘I don’t believe that a failure on the part of An Bord Pleanala should be used by this company as a way of getting around this legislative requirement.’

Councillor Reilly said:

“The failure of An Bord Pleanala to include the mandatory provision for social and affordable housing in a large residential development in Johnston, Navan is disastrous and a clear breach of Part V of the Planning Act.  Even before this scandal arose there were concerns about this project.  More than 1,500 houses have been built in Johnstown in the last ten years but there are no proper facilities – no community centre, no playgrounds and currently an old convent school is being used as a school.  There is also a serious problem in relation to water shortages.

 “An Bord Pleanala’s decision to give the go ahead to this development happened fourteen months ago, however it wasn’t until I raised this matter two weeks ago that An Bord Pleanala and council officials became aware that no provision for social and affordable housing had been included.  We are now in the difficult position that given the time that has lapsed it will be very difficult to be even granted leave to appeal.  I do believe, however, that exceptional circumstances do exist and that the Bord Pleanala decision should be changed.

“Meath has had a huge population increase in recent years and suffers from a huge shortage in housing. There are almost 1,300 people on the housing waiting list across the county and many more trapped in rented accommodation.This shortage was underlined recently when there were sixty applicants for two affordable housing units in the village of Kenstown. The provision of social and affordable housing is essential to these families. 

“I want to call on Taggart Homes not to contest the appeal by Meath County Council to An Bord Pleanala.  The provision of social and affordable housing in all housing developments is a mandatory part of the Planning Act.  And no property developer should use this failure on the part of An Bord Pleanala to get around this legislative requirement.”ENDS

 

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