Tuesday, February 26, 2008


435 Bettystown houses refused by An Bord Pleanala

The debate about the recognition of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) schools continues. Last Thursday we had the opportunity to discuss the matter in the Senate. I spoke about the local school in Drogheda, ABACAS which serves the south Louth and East Meath region. I also raised the subject of the costs incurred by the Ó Cuanacháin family in their recent legal case against the Department of Education.

There seems a groundswell of goodwill in favour of movement on the ABA issue. I know that Minister Hanafin has appeared reluctant to change her stance on the issue, but I would be hopeful that recent noises coming from rank and file FF backbenchers may get her to re-consider her policy on this occasion.

I heard at the end of the week that An Bord Pleanala had agreed with my appeal against a 435-house development in Bettystown. The situation was that the original application was approved by Meath County Council, despite the objections of myself and a large number of residents.

I lodged an appeal against this development and a number of submissions were also made by local residents. Although the Inspector recommended that the development should proceed, the Bord decided to go against their own inspector’s decision and REFUSED the development.

So what does this mean? Well, since last year’s adoption of the County Development Plan (CDP) only a limited number of houses will be allowed to be built in the East Meath area. The total number has been “set in stone” in the CDP and included the 435 houses referred to above.

This decision by An Bord Pleanala means that this allocation of 435 houses can now be “re-allocated” somewhere in the East Meath area by our local Councillors, according to where they see the priority to be. They could decide to keep the housing at the appeal site, or they could instead decided to allow 435 houses at the Eco-Residential site beside Laytown Station (in turn, getting a community centre for the area), or they could decided to prioritise another site, or they could decide not to use this allocation at all.

It will be down to the councillors to decide this one, but I'm sure they will get an ear-twisting from both developers and local residents before a decision is made!

I was in Bettystown on hols not that long ago, hadn't realised how similar it was to Courtown, where I grew up.

Anyway congrats on the pol blog nomination, you're in good company.

Might see you ..
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