Green Party claims that Local Authorities are ill equipped to deal with the environmental and planning complexities involved in the sector.
The Green Party is calling for a more ‘robust regulatory regime’ to govern extractive industries and quarrying following the shocking revelations aired in last night’s RTE Investigates documentary ‘Between a rock and a hard place’ which painted a picture of a sector that the party claims ‘appears to be above the law’ in many instances.
Green Party Spokesperson for Community and Local Government, Cllr Malcolm Noonan, said that the programme highlighted a lack of resources and in many cases a lack of expertise to deal with the complex legal, planning and regulatory issues within local authorities.
“The reality for many people living near these quarries is one where the only recourse they have to have their voices heard; the planning system, appears to be acting against the common good to achieve a State objective of construction and road development,” said Cllr Noonan.
He said that instead of protecting citizens rights and environmental law, Government is taking our planning and regulatory system in the opposite direction with Minister Eoghan Murphy’s proposed planning bill.
“The Public Participation Directive was enshrined in Irish law to protect citizens and communities and to create a level playing field. It is unacceptable that individuals and communities have to use their own financial resources to fight to protect the environment and their quality of life when there is a planning and environmental regulatory system that should be acting on their behalf.
“With this Government in it’s last days, it is imperative that they act with a sense of urgency to introduce a much more strict regulatory system; in planning, licensing and in environmental compliance but also to ensure that meaningful public participation becomes the default in all major developments and to clean up the unregulated quarrying industry once and for all.”
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