An Taisce to challenge approval for road works

An Taisce is to challenge a decision by An Bord Pleanála to give the green light to major works, including cycle lanes, on one of the country’s busiest tourist roads.

The heritage body is seeking a judicial review of the decision — a reversal of a previous decision — to grant permission for upgrading stretches of the N86 Tralee to Dingle road in the Camp and Annascaul areas.

The route is renowned for its scenic quality with natural and built heritage. An Taisce claimed a proper environmental assessment was not carried out in advance of the decision.

Widening the road and adding cycle lanes would have adverse impacts on the landscape, An Taisce says.

It will be the second judicial review of the long-awaited project. The hearing is scheduled for March.

Last year, Kerry County Council challenged an earlier decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse permission on the same scheme which resulted in the decision being quashed in the High Court and returned to the board for consideration.

The board then granted permission. However, An Taisce claims it failed to fulfil its obligations under the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

Its chairman John Harnett said: “The manner in which the assessment of this scheme has been compromised, by carving an original scheme of 32km up into chunks and the failure then to rectify omissions in the assessment of the whole 32km scheme, is key among our reasons for bringing this challenge.”


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