Anger as planning authorities scrap approval for Kilkenny Ring Road extension
AN Bord Pleanala has scrapped planning approval for a vital section of the Kilkenny Northern Ring Road.
The planning authorities informed Kilkenny County Council of its controversial u-turn earlier this week.
Green Party Councillor Malcolm Noonan hit out at the decision, which he described as a “major setback to safer mobility in the town centre”.
Cllr Noonan said: “The decision by An Bord Pleanala to scrap its previously granted planning approval for a vital section of the Kilkenny Ring Road extension highlights deep flaws in future proofing transport planning in Kilkenny and are a major setback to safer mobility in the town centre.
“The failure to prioritise the completion of the ring road ahead of the Central Access Scheme means that communities across the city will continue to be affected by increased traffic and the danger posed by HGVs.”
According to Cllr Noonan, An Bord Pleanala admitted that their initial decision to grant planning was “flawed” and could not be remedied by referring it back to the High Court.
The latest setback to the proposed ring road extension comes after the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of an appeal made by local residents.
Last November the court said an Appropriate Assessment (AA) of proposed development on the northern ring road must dispel “all reasonable scientific doubt” concerning the effects of that proposed development on protected sites.
Cllr Noonan said the whole planning process around the extension to the ring road is now “back to square one”.
He added: “We have to commence a whole new process with all the expense that entails. This includes a new planning application with no guarantee that the project will be funded as it’s not mentioned in the new National Development Plan.”