08 January 2013

Fitzgerald Hails Calliaghstown Decision a Victory for Rural Rathcoole

Local T.D and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, has welcomed the upholding of her and Cllr. Tony Delaney’s objections to An Bord Pleanala with respect to a controversial planning application for a cemetery in Calliaghstown, Rathcoole. Frances Fitzgerald backed local residents concerns and successfully objected to the proposal for this cemetery when planning permission was first sought. The Council upheld the concerns of locals and refused permission for the project but the developers later appealed their decision to An Bord Pleanala. Fitzgerald and Delaney again made detailed submissions on the proposal and highlighted the huge concern locally. Their concerns were taken into account by An Bord Pleanala who this week have refused permission for the cemetery in what Fitzgerald has described as a victory for the people of Rathcoole.

“This is a victory for the people of rural Rathcoole. The scenic surrounds of Rathcoole are, unfortunately, often the setting for inappropriate planning applications. Together with residents in Rathcoole Village and Windmill Hill we are currently fighting plans for a waste processing facility at Behans Quarry and the people of Calliaghstown and I have been fighting against this proposed cemetery for a number of years. It is great to at last have closure on this issue and I hope that we will have as successful a result in our An Bord Pleanala case on Behan’s Quarry,” said Minister Frances Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald, along with her Fine Gael Colleagues Tony Delaney and Emer Higgins, has made a detailed submission on a planning decision at the nearby Behan’s Quarry.
“A cemetery at this location would have been very concerning for the area and had the potential to have detrimental consequences on this water supply. The cemetery was to be situated on a hill above the water supply and in a very strong limestone area. This had the potential for huge consequences on the local water supply.”
Minister Fitzgerald also highlighted the issue of traffic congestion, explaining that the roads locally are not suitable.
“The Council, in their refusal of this application, acknowledged that a development on the site would pose a serious threat to road safety in the area. As the roads are narrow around Calliaghstown, cars would have to give way and there were concerns that this could cause accidents, considering the increase in traffic volume,” explained Fitzgerald.

“The refusal of permission for this development is the right decision for the area,” said Fitzgerald’s colleague Cllr. Tony Delaney.
“The minor roads in the surrounding area are in poor condition and for the most part very narrow. These roads would be incapable of handling traffic associated with funerals which could pose serious safety hazards. There was much concern locally also regarding potential health risks of the opening up of a cemetery in land near waterbeds,” said Cllr. Tony Delaney.
“I would like to thank all the residents in Calliaghstown who took the time to object as well as my colleague Cllr. Tony Delaney. We all believed that this was not in the best interests of either the local environment or residents and I am glad that the Council recognised that," concluded Fitzgerald.