Roadstone warned over quarry following Irish Examiner investigation 

Roadstone warned over quarry following Irish Examiner investigation 

The Irish Examiner's Michael Clifford with local man John McInerney standing near the lake where people have been known to swim at the abandoned Ballyneety quarry in County Limerick. Picture Dan Linehan

Buildings material company Roadstone has been issued with a warning letter about its failure to comply with planning laws following an investigation by the Irish Examiner into a disused quarry in Limerick.

The local authority has written to Roadstones Provinces Ltd pointing out that it is in breach of three conditions of planning permission with which the company was obliged to comply.

The quarry at Ballyneety has not been operational for over 10 years but the lake formed on the quarry has been used for swimming and scuba diving and the complex has all the appearances of being abandoned without any effort to make good the area.

The planning authority, Limerick City and County Council, said at the time that it wasn’t aware that operations in the quarry had ceased. Roadstone told the Irish Examiner at the time that it “complies with all relevant planning, environmental, health & safety and other regulatory conditions at its quarries". 

Warning letter

Following publication of the story in this newspaper, the local authority conducted an investigation of the quarry and has now written to Roadstone “a warning letter under Section 152(1) of the planning and development act 2000” informing the company of the breaches.

In the letter, there is a section compelling Roadstone to lodge a bond with the council as security to make good the area following the completion of extraction. The council has confirmed to the Irish Examiner that no bond was lodged.

Another condition that has not been met is that “the site shall be completed to the satisfaction of the planning authority within one year of the cessation of extraction works".

Extraction work ceased in September 2010, although Roadstone told the Irish Examiner that it intended to use the quarry again at a future point. The company is also being warned that it is in breach of a planning condition about operating the quarry within a defined area.

A spokesperson for Roadstone confirmed that the company has received the warning letter. 

“Roadstone has received correspondence from Limerick City and County Council in relation to Ballyneety quarry. The company welcomes the opportunity to engage with the council and notes that no determination has yet been made in respect of the matter.” 

 John McInerney of local environmental group Limerick Against Pollution, said the council should ensure that any breaches will be dealt with expediently.

“The question now is who will restore the site to the satisfaction of the conditions and who will fund this,” he said. “It is shocking to note that these conditions, which were imposed for the health and welfare of the locals and residents of the surrounding areas have been treated with such contempt by this company.”

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