Fine Gael Cllr Garry Murtagh
Councillor Garry Murtagh received support from fellow members of Longford County Council to write to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage requesting that consideration be given to a stipulation that objectors/lobbyists to planning approvals who reside outside the district of the subject application be required to submit a deposit of €2,000. with this deposit not to be refunded in the event of the objection being overruled.
Cllr Murtagh said it was important for the people of Longford to have the necessary infrastructure in place, that the extension to the N4 Mullingar to Longford/Rosskey brings to stimulate and sustain good economic commerce for the county.
“Longford can ill afford to have objectors or lobbyists, undermining the development of strategic projects such as the bypass out of spite or for financial gain,” said Cllr Murtagh.
While he had no problem with someone in the district/area objecting or expressing their concerns, the difficulty he has is from individuals or bodies outside of the region objecting for the sake of it.
Cllr Colm Murray seconded the motion and explained the difficulty the Forestry industry experienced last year from what he described as “nuisance objectors” to felling licences throughout the country.
The Department of Agriculture had processed over 400 appeals, with 50% of the objections coming from one individual living in the south of the country.
In the month of August, 29 tree felling licenses were stalled, halting the felling of over 100,000 cubic meters of timber, the equivelant of 5,000 homes, in the middle of a housing crisis, not to mention the knock on effect for the construction industry.
Cllr Murray supported the excellent motion in order to protect the development of the N4 bypass and other important strategic projects throughout the county.