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M20 - Cork to Limerick [preferred route due in September 2021]

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  • markodaly wrote: »
    Just on a point of order but why would someone from say Cavan have a right to appeal a planning decision in Cork?

    Why should they not?

    I live in Galway, does that mean I'm not allowed to care about how the rule of law is adhered to in Louth?

    If you are to base access to justice on location how do you decide it? County boundaries? Townland boundaries? Baronies? X km's from the site?

    By what classification do you determine who is or is not allowed to appeal a planning decision based on their home address?

    If you have a pre-eminent environmental law expert living in Dublin, is that person excluded from using their expertise to protect other parts of the Irish environment because they are not within x km's of the site?

    How do you prevent appeals by proxy using this yardstick?




  • As has been pointed out many times, if they keep being caught out by not doing the EIS properly its not really the objectors fault.

    I doubt development applicants are basing massive investments on slapdash EISs. If planning permissions are repeatedly overturned based on EIS flaws, that would suggest either the requirements for the EIS are not adequately defined in law (making it easy for objectors to claim the EIS did not meet one requirement or another) or so unnecessarily complex that even experienced operators cannot deliver a bulletproof EIS. Either option is unsatisfactory and should be remedied by modifying the relevant environmental law.

    And yes, it is the objectors' fault if planning permission is thrown out after they make an objection. They are responsible for the houses not constructed, the safety upgrades not built, etc.
    DaCor wrote: »
    Why should they not?

    I live in Galway, does that mean I'm not allowed to care about how the rule of law is adhered to in Louth

    I'm not really aware of any other area of law where a person can sue a party over a decision that doesn't directly involve them. Sure, let people who would lose their land in a CPO take an appeal if they choose (with a higher ceiling for courts to overturn permission), but I don't see why anybody else should have standing. If someone with no direct link whatsoever can get involved and overturn a project, this is like allowing me to appeal a "not guilty" verdict in a trial that I have nothing to do with just because I don't like the look of the defendant and want him to be sent to prison.

    Resource the system better, make it much harder for people to appeal, and decrease their chances of success. Maybe then this country will be able to start building houses, roads, and the like once again. Without significant changes to the planning system, I doubt we'll be getting the benefits of the M20 this side of 2030.




  • I doubt development applicants are basing massive investments on slapdash EISs. If planning permissions are repeatedly overturned based on EIS flaws, that would suggest either the requirements for the EIS are not adequately defined in law (making it easy for objectors to claim the EIS did not meet one requirement or another) or so unnecessarily complex that even experienced operators cannot deliver a bulletproof EIS. Either option is unsatisfactory and should be remedied by modifying the relevant environmental law.

    And yes, it is the objectors' fault if planning permission is thrown out after they make an objection. They are responsible for the houses not constructed, the safety upgrades not built, etc.



    I'm not really aware of any other area of law where a person can sue a party over a decision that doesn't directly involve them. Sure, let people who would lose their land in a CPO take an appeal if they choose (with a higher ceiling for courts to overturn permission), but I don't see why anybody else should have standing. If someone with no direct link whatsoever can get involved and overturn a project, this is like allowing me to appeal a "not guilty" verdict in a trial that I have nothing to do with just because I don't like the look of the defendant and want him to be sent to prison.

    Resource the system better, make it much harder for people to appeal, and decrease their chances of success. Maybe then this country will be able to start building houses, roads, and the like once again. Without significant changes to the planning system, I doubt we'll be getting the benefits of the M20 this side of 2030.

    Your confusions between criminal law and environmental/planning regulations aside, let me see if I understand the rest of this correctly
    • Its the fault of the law for being too difficult to follow thats why EIS's are not completed properly
    • Its the fault of objectors if their appeals are successful....just because
    • The only people in the whole country allowed to make an appeal are the handful directly affected.....just because
    • Its going to be extremely difficult for them to appeal....just because
    • The odds are going to be stacked against any appeals they are actually able to make.....just because

    I don't think I missed anything.

    Thats some utopia you're setting the place up to be **shudder**




  • DaCor wrote: »
    Thats some utopia you're setting the place up to be

    Yup. It'll be pretty much like the one we had before Aarhus, when people could actually build things that needed to be built and the M20 got through ABP about 18 months after planning began. Remind me if the old system led to 4-lane motorways through Phoenix Park?




  • Remind me if the old system led to 4-lane motorways through Phoenix Park?

    You do realise that what you are advocating for would remove the avenue of appeal for most people to prevent such works from happening


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  • DaCor wrote: »
    You do realise that what you are advocating for would remove the avenue of appeal for most people to prevent such works from happening

    We seemed to get on okay before Aarhus without people building 4-lane motorways through Phoenix Park. Why is that? Planning wasn't granted automatically - the M20 was sent back to planning to add an exit.

    Also, to return to your hypothetical scenario, why would anyone build a 4-lane motorway through Phoenix Park? Do you honestly, truly believe that unlimited and cost-free judicial reviews are the only reason there is no Phoenix Park Freeway?




  • We seemed to get on okay before Aarhus without people building 4-lane motorways through Phoenix Park. Why is that? Planning wasn't granted automatically - the M20 was sent back to planning to add an exit.

    Also, to return to your hypothetical scenario, why would anyone build a 4-lane motorway through Phoenix Park? Do you honestly, truly believe that unlimited and cost-free judicial reviews are the only reason there is no Phoenix Park Freeway?

    It was an example, same as the other examples I listed, nothing more. That you are trying to make it more is just plain silly and you know it is.

    As for the rest, thankfully your world view is not likely to come to pass any time soon.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my M20 objection




  • DaCor wrote: »
    It was an example, same as the other examples I listed, nothing more.

    Right, it's an example you proposed of something that would be built if random people couldn't send planning decisions willy-nilly to judicial review like before Aarhus. I'm glad that you seem to be no longer suggesting this is in any way realistic.
    DaCor wrote: »
    As for the rest, thankfully your world view is not likely to come to pass any time soon.

    Right, we've got to wait at least another year before the AG reports back on ways to cut down on vexatious and spurious objections on environmental grounds. At least the process is underway, and with the housing crisis continuing to worsen, popular fury against NIMBYs using judicial review to overturn planning grants will only further encourage major streamlining of the planning system. Ultimately, this will likely be good for houses, roads, schools, and infrastructure in general, and the M20 specifically.




  • Right, we've got to wait at least another year before the AG reports back on ways to cut down on vexatious and spurious objections on environmental grounds.

    Meanwhile...
    Court cases are leading the fight on climate change across Europe

    Full story - https://www.thejournal.ie/readme/climate-change-eu-courts-5486115-Jul2021/

    AS THE PLANET burns, across Europe we are seeing young people and campaigners fight for environmental justice in the courts.

    In Germany, the 2019 Luisa Neubauer case made history. Germany’s supreme constitutional court ruled that the Government’s climate measures were insufficient to protect future generations after a complaint from environmentalist groups.

    In Portugal, young climate activists have taken a case to the European Court of Human Rights against all European countries. They argue that these countries breach their human rights by failing to make deep and urgent emission cuts, and not adequately addressing cross-border emissions.

    The case has been fast-tracked, meaning the courts recognise the urgency with which it should be heard.

    It does not end there; courts from Belgium to the Netherlands are ruling that governments and, in some cases, companies like Dutch Shell have a responsibility to protect the rights of people and future generations from environmental harm.

    Recently, French courts backed the climate case brought by my French Greens/EFA colleague Damien Carême MEP and ruled that France has until March 2022 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced within its borders.

    A landmark action from Climate Case Ireland saw the Supreme Court support a motion that the then Government’s 2017 National Mitigation Plan lacked enough detail on meeting 2050 emission reduction targets.

    Importantly, this case has left the door open to other constitutional challenges on environmental failings. Simply put, the citizen-led revolution is inspiring. But it should not be up to our young people to seek environmental justice through the courts. Politicians must act, so that citizens are not forced to take court action.
    and the M20 specifically.

    Eamonn Ryan stated yesterday during an interview on Newstalk that for the cost of the M20 we could bypass 20-30 towns around Ireland which would provide far greater benefit so the case for the M20 is by no means secure.




  • DaCor wrote: »
    Meanwhile...
    Eamonn Ryan stated yesterday during an interview on Newstalk that for the cost of the M20 we could bypass 20-30 towns around Ireland which would provide far greater benefit so the case for the M20 is by no means secure.

    We could also just cancel the Dublin Metro, bypass 40-60 towns, and build the M20.

    I think the M20's future is pretty darn secure, no matter who is in power. The longer the delay in the courts, the more EVs powered by the wind will be on the roads. Shortly, roads will no longer contribute to carbon emissions, and there will be no emissions-related reason to oppose them. On safety and economic grounds, FF and FG will (rightly) never allow the M20 to be canned, and nor will an SF government if they want to keep North Cork seats.

    Furthermore, if current legislation allows necessary development to be stalled in the way which seems to be happening across Europe, we will just have to change the laws to prevent this.

    Either way, the M20 will be built. The only question is how much taxpayer money will be wasted fighting vexatious objections in the courts.


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  • DaCor wrote: »
    Meanwhile...





    Eamonn Ryan stated yesterday during an interview on Newstalk that for the cost of the M20 we could bypass 20-30 towns around Ireland which would provide far greater benefit so the case for the M20 is by no means secure.
    Eamonn Ryan won't be in government when this comes as far as funding for construction. And even if he was he will be overruled by FG and FF as he was recently with the with the Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road in Limerick.

    Also there are three large towns and multiple villages that need to be bypassed on the N20. It would make sense to do them all together and join them up really. It's almost as if that's what's being planned here.




  • Being realistic, I don't doubt the M20 will eventually get built, but I don't think its going to be an easy one to get over the line

    I guess time will tell




  • Just thinking, the M20 will bypass Rathduff (accident black spot), Mallow, Ballybeg bends (accident black spot), Buttavent, Ballyhea, Charleville & O'Rourke's Cross (accident black spot). That leaves the narrow road from O'Rourke's Cross to Croom.

    Sure we'll call it a major combined bypass scheme to keep people happy......




  • I would argue Mr Peter Sweetman very much cares about the Kerry Slug, but he certainly cares more about the Government being held to their own legislation. As has been pointed out many times, if they keep being caught out by not doing the EIS properly its not really the objectors fault. Other objectors I'm sure have more selfish motives, but its one of those cases where if the government does their job properly, the case will fail at the first hurdle.


    Peter Sweetman is just a serial objector. And recently has become a serial objector for hire.




  • Peter Sweetman is just a serial objector. And recently has become a serial objector for hire.

    Point of fact, he only objects where the law has not been followed by applicants and there is a risk to the environment.

    Look at every single case he has taken and you will see the same pattern.

    Given that he wins the majority of his cases speaks volumes about the amount of non-adherence to environmental regulations when it comes to planning applications.

    Its quite easy to avoid an objection from Peter, simply do what is required. Do that and he has no grounds upon which to object




  • DaCor wrote: »
    Why should they not?

    I live in Galway, does that mean I'm not allowed to care about how the rule of law is adhered to in Louth?

    If you are to base access to justice on location how do you decide it? County boundaries? Townland boundaries? Baronies? X km's from the site?

    By what classification do you determine who is or is not allowed to appeal a planning decision based on their home address?

    If you have a pre-eminent environmental law expert living in Dublin, is that person excluded from using their expertise to protect other parts of the Irish environment because they are not within x km's of the site?

    How do you prevent appeals by proxy using this yardstick?

    The rule of Law? Yes, we know all these people who object to things like cycle lanes, houses, metros and roads are all really concerned about the rule of law.....

    The most known case of course is the object my a wealthy landowner in Wicklow to the Apple Datacentre for Athenry. If was really concerned about the rule of law I heard, but maybe we just didnt want a datacentre to be built anywhere but his land. A lot of times its about pure hard cash. People object to things because they fear it will hit their wealth. That is why so many objections submitted against housing developments.

    I think its ridiculous that someone from the other side of the country can submit an object against a development and then launch legal challenges that tie up said development for years.

    As I said, this is Astrotruf. Big money from other parts of the country interferrring against the wishes of the majority in another part of the country. Very undemocratic if you ask me, all passed off under the venner that these people really actually care about the rule of law!!




  • We seemed to get on okay before Aarhus without people building 4-lane motorways through Phoenix Park. Why is that? Planning wasn't granted automatically - the M20 was sent back to planning to add an exit.

    Also, to return to your hypothetical scenario, why would anyone build a 4-lane motorway through Phoenix Park? Do you honestly, truly believe that unlimited and cost-free judicial reviews are the only reason there is no Phoenix Park Freeway?

    The slippery slope fallacy on display.

    slipperyslope.jpg

    If we change the planning laws to make it harder to object to developments this will lead to motorways in the Phoneix Park, incinerators next to primacy schools, a chemical plant next in Fota, and so on...:rolleyes:

    It is called a fallacy for a reason.




  • DaCor wrote: »
    Point of fact, he only objects where the law has not been followed by applicants and there is a risk to the environment.

    Look at every single case he has taken and you will see the same pattern.

    Given that he wins the majority of his cases speaks volumes about the amount of non-adherence to environmental regulations when it comes to planning applications.

    Its quite easy to avoid an objection from Peter, simply do what is required. Do that and he has no grounds upon which to object

    Does he have a 100% record? I
    f not, then he objected to a development which in law had no grounds. Therefore the bit in bold is wrong.

    Suffice to say that Peter Sweetnam would still be objecting regardless. His objections are usually won on technicalities, which put the development back a bit but doesn't stop it.

    Has he ever actually stopped any development from happening?




  • Slane was completely stopped at the time.

    I think that's the only one though off the top of my head. No - the original plans for the Buttevant bypass were complained away, as were N22 Ballincollig - Macroom many years ago. But those didn't make litigation the way things do now.



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  • Excellent news. Looking forward to reading more about this. It will be interesting to see how much of the long-awaited NRR (and other CMATS projects) will be included with the equally-long-awaited M20.





  • Reading the body of the article I wouldn't consider it all that positive, quite the opposite. Nowhere does he say anything about the road going ahead.

    "The Cork to Limerick motorway project is further back in the process but will continue to progress, and I'm confident that will be supported in the context of the National Development Plan," he said.

    The article say very little and he has more than enough wriggle room which is typical of the man.


    And in other pretty disappointing news from the project website, posted on the 7th September:

    Home » News » N/M20 Cork to Limerick – Phase 2 Update

    Following the public consultation held earlier this year, the N/M20 project team have carefully considered the extensive feedback received from the public and key stakeholders. This feedback has been considered as part of the detailed appraisal leading towards the identification of the best performing option or combination of options which will be taken forward as the preferred option. 

    In anticipation of policy updates on sustainable transport infrastructure, the project team have incorporated these changes into the appraisal process for the identification of the preferred option. These changes have been incorporated to avoid potential future delays in the development of the project. As a result, the preferred option for the N/M20 Cork to Limerick Project will be announced as part of a public display during Q1 2022. 

    We thank the public for their patience in this regard. Further details regarding this upcoming public display will be published in advance. For further information visit www.corklimerick.ie or contact the project office at [email protected] or 061 973730.


    Sounds like it's still being fought out between the Greens and the others as to whether its the road or one of the rail options that will proceed.





  • The rail option will be a direct link at Limerick Junction onto the line that IR have already committed to double tracking into Limerick. They're not mutually exclusive and both will be done. And as has been said before, multiple bypasses and road safety upgrades are still needed on the route without the M20, so it makes sence to build it properly from the start.

    I also think your giving too much credit to the power of the Greens on this too. They've already also committed to allowing all projects to complete planning. By then they're unlikely to still be in power. They've also already been publicly put in their place by FG and FF with the Coonagh to Knockalisheen debacle in Limerick.





  • @Hibernicis - there’s nothing negative in that statement. In fact, it reads like the standard boilerplate release at the end of a consultation phase: “We’ve listened to everyone’s comments and concerns, and we will be making some amendments our plans to reflect these. And of course, we care about the environment.”

    The Greens are not all-powerful, and there are “green” arguments for road improvements. Here’s one: fuel consumption of freight vehicles depends a lot on the terrain: twisty roads with lots of inclines mean more fuel burnt than a flatter route with more gentle changes of direction.

    There is a point where the carbon-emissions cost of building the road is offset by the carbon-emissions savings of lower energy use from the vehicles using it. And that goes double for electric vehicles, whose energy consumption is far more dependent on terrain than a combustion engine.

    This is the same justification that is used when constructing new railways: higher emissions in construction in order to save emissions in operation





  • There is a point where the carbon-emissions cost of building the road is offset by the carbon-emissions savings of lower energy use from the vehicles using it.

    So you're saying building new roads reduces emissions - do you have anything to back that up? Because induced demand from new roads is well established. The volume of traffic using this corridor will definitely increase when the motorway is built.





  • No, I am not saying “building new roads reduces emissions”. I’m saying is that in the long term, the carbon cost of many road improvements may be negative: especially those that do not significantly increase usage. The transportation sector in Ireland emits 15 million tonnes of CO2 a year, and the vast majority of Irish transportation is by road; freight is a major contributor to this. Even small percentage savings have a large impact here.

    As transportation electrifies, the energy savings from road improvements become greater (even renewable electricity isn’t CO2-free, and there will always have to be a small non-renewable contribution to the grid).

    Making long-distance routes safer and more energy efficient is a form or road-building that reduces emissions long term; adding more lanes to existing roads just to accommodate commuters is a form of road-building that increases emissions long term.

    N20 is in both camps, but the commuter-effect can, and should, be managed, both with a carrot (improved public transport networks at the destination cities, at higher subsidy), and the stick (road user pricing).

    The Limerick Junction rail upgrade is welcome, but it won’t do much for people using the N20 corridor. I’d like to see a light-rail or bus-rapid-transport system (i.e., with usable connection-points and simplified fares) in both Cork and Limerick, with park-and-ride at the periphery (because we can’t cod ourselves that half the people working in our cities aren’t living out in the countryside).





  • So are we on target for the preferred route to be announced this month?





  • No, deferred until Q1 2022 to figure out how it fits in Eamon Ryan’s jigsaw puzzle of addressing climate change.





  • What a joke another delay off up to six months how many times do they have to look at this route they could have gone back to the old plan which was ready for

    c,p,o. and spared us all this bulls..t

    No political will to build this road dont think i will ever see it built.



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  • Events have overtaken the old plan. One major difference is that the old M20 was designed with provision for an Adare southern bypass which is not going to be there anymore because Adare is now being bypassed to the North by the M21 Rathkeale-Attyflin section of the Limerick-Foynes scheme.



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