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Public consultation on bypass threat to Bend of the Boyne World Heritage Sites reopened

New round of public consultations ordered for proposed Slane bypass

The Irish Times – Monday, September 20, 2010

FRANK McDONALD Environment Editor

A NEW round of public consultations on controversial plans for a dual-carriageway bypass of Slane, Co Meath, has been ordered by An Bord Pleanála, with October 15th set as the closing date. A public notice advertising the new round of consultations was published recently in national newspapers. The original consultation period closed on February 25th last.

An Bord Pleanála had sought additional information from Meath County Council on the road scheme, including whether an alternative route running to the west of Slane had been examined. The current proposal, which is being advanced on behalf of the National Roads Authority (NRA), would run to the east of Slane, some 500 metres from the boundary of Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site.

The appeals board also sought alternative designs for a new bridge over the river Boyne, noting that the cable-stayed bridge originally proposed would be visible from the World Heritage Site. It also wanted the council to produce more detailed archaeological and geophysical reports on investigations of 44 archaeological sites that would be affected by the original scheme.

The information was sought "in order to clarify certain points in the environmental impact statement [EIS] and assist the board's assessment of the likely effects on the environment" of the road. This followed complaints to An Bord Pleanála by the Save Newgrange group, former attorney general John Rogers SC and leading archaeologist Prof George Eogan that the EIS was flawed.

Save Newgrange spokesman Vincent Salafia said: "We will be waging an international campaign over the next month, particularly in Northern Ireland, to get as many objections as possible filed with An Bord Pleanála."

Posted by TaraWatch
21st September 2010ce
Edited 21st September 2010ce

Comments (2)

This is really silly.
I visited the area recently and saw for myself that Ireland has a (potential) major tourist destination only 30 minutes drive from Dublin airport. Their economy is in ruins and they need all the help they can get. Instead, much of the area is still unexplored, unprotected, and visitor centres are closed for lack of funding. Doubtless they would need more roads for more tourists but this needs to be done sensitively. Putting anything within 500 metres of the heritage site is completely nuts, but so was the idea to drive a new motorway through the Tara area for the benefit of commuters.

Ireland badly needs more joined up thinking. Their archaeological heritage is equivalent to Egypt and they need to use it properly. They have few other natural resources.
Posted by greybeard
25th September 2010ce
The road is 500 meters from the boundary of the Bru na Boinne site, according to the report above.

What this actually means is that there is a buffer zone in place around the Bru na Boinne complex. The road is 500 meters outside this buffer, or protection, zone. The road will be 4 miles away from Newgrange itself. There is a concerted campaign to mislead people about this fact.

All information relevant to this development can be found in the Environmental Impact Statement:
Posted by An Fir Bolg
1st November 2010ce
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