Local Councillors says there could be serious implications for whole areas after it is announced that local councils will have no input into the plan seeking protection for the Brú na Bóinne complex in Ireland. The most well-known sites within Brú na Bóinne are theNeolithic passage graves of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, all famous for their significant collections of megalithic art.
Landowners in the general area of Brú na Bóinne were having continuing problems with the status of their land under proposals to protect the delicate archaeological area after it was announced that a framework plan for the protection of Brú na Bóinne complex will be drawn up and agreed between the two councils and it does not require the consent of the members of the local councils.
Questions had been asked at a recent meeting of Meath County Council about discussions over the plan, said to have been conducted between the council and officials from Louth County Council. According to councillors, the Department of the Environment had tasked the two councils with drawing up the framework plan.
Independent Duleek councillor Jimmy Cudden is reported a saying, "Nobody in the Boyne Valley could have any problem with the protection of the Brú na Bóinne site, but now we have been informed that the framework plan will be drawn up and agreed between the two councils and it does not require the consent of the members of the local councils."
He added, "I would have a problem with that and would be totally opposed to it. It couldn't possibly be an agreed plan if the representatives of the local communities are not involved in the process."
Cllr Cudden called for the protection of the area to be helde under a local area plan (LAP), in which the views of council representatives and local residents were taken into account.
The buffer zone was there to protect the ancient monuments, a situation now existed whereby that zone had been extended and people living in this newly created buffer zone could not get planning permission.
Area manager Tadhg McDonnell said that Bru na Boinne was one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, the other two being the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland and the Skelligs, off the Co Kerry coast. He added that there was nothing to show that Meath County Council was in any way draconian in its approach to planning, but there were quite specific criteria for heritage areas and the county development plan included an appeals mechanism.
Source: The Meath Chronicle 30th March 2011
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