Residents to seek judicial review of motorway plan

Residents to seek judicial review of motorway plan
An computer-generated view from the TII of the planned M28 motorway viewed from the Rochestown Road.

A RESIDENTS group opposed to the route of the planned M28 motorway will seek a judicial review on the granting of planning permission for the road by An Bord Pleanála last month.

The M28 Steering Group will now undertake fundraising efforts in a bid to have the planning application reviewed by the High Court after hundreds of people turned up to a public meeting on the matter.

Cork city and county councils and Cork Chamber say the €180m motorway scheme is crucial to allowing the city's docklands to develop and will facilitate the Port of Cork's move to Ringaskiddy and the building of a €80m container terminal there.

However, an overturning of the planning permission will be sought on a number grounds.

The M28 Steering Group has long-maintained a 1.8km stretch of the motorway from Carr’s Hill to Bloomfield will have a negative environmental impact on local communities.

Steering Group chairman Gerard Harrington has said the group’s full legal strategy could not be set out at this stage but they had engaged with a legal firm to represent their case.

Chairman of the M28 Steering Group finance committee, John Higgins, said the local support for their efforts is strong.

“What really took us by surprise [at this week's meeting] was that so many people turned up with cash,” he said.

“We had known for a long time that there was deep-rooted support and we had hoped for many pledges on the night. We were not disappointed in this regard with many of those present pledging substantial sums.

“While this will not meet all our funding needs it is certainly a very positive start,” he added.

The M28 project consists of an upgrade of roughly 12.5km of the current route to include 10.9km of the motorway, 1.6km of single carriageway and four junctions at Bloomfield/ Rochestown Road, Carr’s Hill, Shannon park and Shanbally.

The scheme also includes provision for the M28 to M48 Link Road and the removal of the existing merger at Maryborough Hill.

The route will follow a number of phases, the first being a standard dual carriageway with two lanes and a hard shoulder. This section will pass through an 11km area in Douglas, Monfieldstown, Mounthovel, Maryborough, Moneygurney, Castletreasure, Ballinimlagh, Ballinrea, Shannonpark, Hilltown, Carrigaline, Ballyhemiken Raffeen, Shanbally, Barnahely and Ballintaggart.

A single carriageway with one lane will cover 1.6km taking in Barnahely, Loughbeg and Ringaskiddy.

If the group is granted a judicial review, it will be the second sought on a high-profile planning application this year with Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment allowed to launch a judicial review of the planning authority's granting of permission of a 240,000 tonne-a-year incinerator in Ringaskiddy.

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