GAMA Construction Ltd this week received a double boost in its plans to progress the €190 million Ennis bypass, by securing planning per- mission for two quarries to serve the project.
Clare County Council granted planning to the Turkish company, in spite of Department of the Environ- ment concerns over the impact that one of the quarries might have on ie uom Oye 1 ic
The quarry at Knockanean is lo- cated between two bat roosts, includ- ing the ‘secret’ €100,000 bat-house on the route.
However, a bat survey carried out
by Inis Environmental Services did not detect the presence of the pro- tected Lesser Horseshoe Bat in the area.
The planner ruling on the case, found that the impact of the quarry on bats was not considered signifi- cant if all the mitigation measures were put in place.
The Council ruled that in relation to the nature and scale of the propos- al and the intended use of the lands, the proposal would not seriously in- jure the amenities of the area.
There are 27 houses within 500 metres of the proposed quarry. Lo- cal man, PJ Williams lodged an ob- jection against the proposal. He told the council, “I operate a stud-farm
close-by and I will hold the Council responsible for any damage, injury to
animals or loss, if planning permis- sion 1s granted.
The Department of the Environ- ment claims the cumulative impact of the three quarries currently before the council will impact on the local environment.
However, in the case of the Knock- anean proposal, the council’s plan- ner concluded, “it is considered that as the proposal is for a temporary quarrying activity required to facili- tate the completion of a major infra- structural project for the county and for the wider western corridor, it 1s broadly acceptable in principle.”
A spokesman for GAMA Construc- tion Ireland Ltd said would proceed taking all of the planning conditions
made by Clare County Council into account.
Howard Williams, senior consult- ant with Inis Environmental Serv- ices said, “the strict planning con- ditions that have been imposed will ensure that this development will be managed in an environmentally friendly way.
‘However it is felt that to impose a €56,024 fee for use of public infra- structure and facilities benefiting the development is excessive as no pub- lic roads or any other infrastructure will be used.”
A council decision on the third quarry 1s expected later this month.