Latest Laois News: Local TD calls on Minister to fix ‘broken planning system’ to avoid more Mountmellick flood relief delays
Minister called upon to fix ‘broken planning system’ to avoid more Mountmellick flood relief delays
“Minister must clarify if Mountmellick Flood Relief Scheme will be hit by planning delays,” Carol Nolan
Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has called on the Minister of State at the OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, to clarify what efforts he is making to ensure that the Mountmellick Flood Relief Scheme will not be subjected to additional delays because of a dysfunctional planning system.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after Minister O’Donovan publicly conceded that vital flood defence works across the country are being held up for years due to objections from people with no connection to the areas in which the proposed flood works are scheduled to take place:
“The fact that we have a government Minister publicly acknowledging that important and long over-due flood defence works, like those in Mountmellick, are essentially hostage to a “not fit for purpose” methodology in planning, is both welcome and deeply alarming.
What I would say however is that the Minister does not have the luxury of being a spectator in this process.
We know that the public consultation regarding the 3 Emerging Options for the Mountmellick Flood Relief Scheme, that was held in April, was extended into May. This followed on from a previous public consultation in November 2019.
What we do not know at this point is which of the emerging options have been selected following the latest consultation and whether or not the Minister and this government are going to take any steps to assist the delivery of that option by fixing the broken planning system.
The residents of Mountmellick and beyond need clarity and certainty that the Minister will take steps to address these problems once a decision on the preferred option is made.
If this does not happen then we may be facing significant further delays, which would be totally unacceptable and grossly unfair to the affected communities,” concluded Deputy Nolan.