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Planning law and did the existing ones get past the interference

  • 27-03-2022 12:26am
    Registered Users Posts: 5,452 ✭✭✭

    The Dublin to (insert city here) roads took off pretty quick I'm the 2000s and early 2010s. AFAIK planning law and objectors rules didn't change much since. Parish pump drivel about bypasses killing villages and towns didn't get far and the roads got built. Even your Glen's and Tara valleys were moved past (reeling in the years folklore aside).

    What gives these days with the M20? Galway bypass too. Clearly national interest roads and alot of going around in circles to get them over the line. Even lesser shovel ready roads like the N5 in Roscommon suddenly gone to pot due to the contractors hitting a snag(hopefully a once off occurrance)

    I feel like the country is going backwards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,702 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762

    I think people have realised they can complain and stymie the system. I also think that everyone is more enviromentally oriented than before, and the requirements for construction are much more public and well known than before. Also, the key objection point is based on the EIS, and basically you can argue that very easily on a point of law.

    Also back in the day the protestors concentrated on the N11 Glen of the Downs and the M3. They were the only ones that really got resistance. Well, that and the Galway bypass. The others slipped through while the protestors were occupied.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,180 ✭✭✭KrisW1001

    We have far stricter environmental standards now. That means that projects take longer to get the the preferred route stage. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a fact. There’s also a lot more cost-control on these projects than there was in the free-spending days of pre-Celtic tiger.

    Add to that that An Bord Pleanala is underfunded for the work it has to do. Not just for roads, but all planning approval in the State. Roads show this up most because they are the largest things that get sent to ABP. The judicial system is also not well suited to dealing with planning complaints - on top of the general problem in the courts of workloads being too high for the available staff.

    Nimbys aren’t as big a deal as you’d think. Most object during the ABP process and don’t continue after planning is granted. It’s only rarely that a concerted and well-funded campaign gets big enough to affect the progress of a road through the courts - M28 is the only real example of that in recent years. Neither M20 nor N6 have the same kind of highly-organised and rich opposition to them.

    Specifically on N20, cost is the big barrier. This is a relatively short stretch of road, but it’s a very expensive one due to the terrain involved. It’s not the 2000s anymore, and a billion-euro budget isn’t something the government has to throw around - that means lots more referral for “value for money” assessment than any project would have had before (M9 would never have been built at Type 1 all the way to Waterford if the same assessments were done on it).

    For N6, a lot of the same applies: the cost is also very high, and it goes through both highly-populated and environmentally-sensitive areas; both factors mean a much slower trip through the planning process. In addition, unlike the N20 there are a lot of opponents to this: not just “the Greens”, but people who want road building, just not that project, and the usual landowners who feel like they’re losing magic future value as a result of the construction. While the overwhelming majority of people on the corridor are in favour of M20 going ahead, you cannot say that about N6.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,911 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl

    Just to add an obvious note that there is no heavy campaign against the N22, Dunkettle Interchange and other current projects.

    Maybe these aren't considered MIU's to everyone. But they are big expensive inter-urban roads projects.

    Perhaps the M6 and M20 are really standing out right now, but I believe it's more coincidental than a sign of a systemic issue. The big easily-justified inter-urban projects are almost all complete. The more difficult and more controversial ones remain. I think we're in a much better place now than we were in the 90's. From driving around Europe, our road network generally compares well, IMO. It can always be better, but I don't think we're going backwards at all.

    If anything I think we're doing better than before. Example: the M20 corridor is transparently evaluating the upgrade of the rail network along with the road. I don't remember this happening in previous inter-urban roads projects. Another example: the M20 corridor is proposing active transport links along the corridor. This definitely didn't happen in older inter-urban roads projects (M8, N25 come to mind). We're doing things better than before, IMO.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,702 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762

    I agree with that, but there was a concerted "save the Lee Valley" effort a goodly number of years ago (pre-MIUs etc) that stopped the Ballincollig - Macroom section being built.

  • Subscribers Posts: 39,901 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    whilst environmental rules and policies have tightened, these issues have pretty much always been part of road upgrade infrastructrue in ireland.

    the N7 kildare by pass was held by for 10 years whilst arguments over a type of snail were made

    the N11 wicklow motorway was held up while a marshland was moved, sod by sod, 400 meters away. This scheme was orignally approved in 1993 but didnt open till over 10 years later. We all know about the "eco warriors" hold up on that project

    even the fairly recent N6 loughrea bypass, which is heralded as a scheme which came in ahead of schedule, took 6 years from 1st design to road open.

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