A Waterford Councillor says An Bord Pleanala have serious questions to answer about the North Quays redevelopment project.
Waterford City and County Council have confirmed that a single appeal over the North Quays redevelopment project was received by An Bord Pleanala.
In a statement, the local authority apologised for misleading the public at the recent plenary meeting, but say that it was on foot of confirmation from An Bord Pleanala.
The planning board issued an email to the council at 10 to 5 on Thursday, stating it had not received any valid appeals in relation to the North Quays SDZ.
It then subsequntly issued a mail stating it had in fact received an appeal in relation to the SDZ on 6th March, but it was only delivered to ‘the appropriate’ desk that afternoon.
“For the record An Bord Pleanala issued an email at 16:50 on Thursday the 8th of March stating ‘The Board has not received any valid appeals in relation to the North Quays SDZ”. This information was conveyed in the public domain at the monthly Council meeting On Thursday evening in good faith. This email, however, was countermanded by a subsequent email today March 9th at 14:43 stating “I’m sorry to inform you that the Board has in fact received an appeal in relation to the SDZ. It was received on 6th March but unfortunately due to the large volume of post being received each day it was only delivered to ‘the appropriate’ desk this afternoon’.”
Michael Walsh, Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council said “it is regrettable that an appeal has been lodged, as the positive message deriving from there being no appeal would be very valuable in its own right. Notwithstanding this the Council is satisfied that the scheme as proposed is robust and the appeal will have no impact in the context of time frames, with the end of Quarter 1, 2019 remaining the objective for commencement of construction on the site.
John Cummins says it’s unacceptable for the planning authority to tell the Council on Thursday that there was no appeals despite the fact that one was received by them well in advance of the deadline. Waterford Council were informed on Friday that “it had been within their system since Tuesday ,and it had only made its way up to a desk on Friday afternoon. Now that’s totally unacceptable, I don’t know what sort of a show An Bord Pleanala are running there”. He added that “for us to give information to the public that was inaccurate as a result of the information they relayed to us is just totally unacceptable.”