Slane N2 Bypass Proposal

The Meath Archaeological and Historical Society made written and oral submissions to An Bord Pleanala in relation to the N2 Slane Bypass proposal and representatives attended almost every day of the oral hearing inquiry. In their submissions, the Society outlined traffic safety, cultural heritage and planning concerns. In response to the Board's decision refusing permission for the bypass proposal as set out, John Clancy, Vice-President of the Society, stated:

“The needs of Slane, the HGV traffic issue and the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site are not mutually exclusive. Traffic safety in Slane is an urgent concern and we call on Meath County Council to implement immediately the ban on HGV traffic through Slane village and adjoining roads as the councillors themselves resolved in a motion passed on 9th April 2009. An Bord Pleanala did their job and have held the developers to account on this proposal which: (1) was clearly in contravention of the Meath County Development Plan 2007-2013, as voted by Meath County Council, and (2) did not adequately explore all alternative solutions to the HGV/traffic safety issue in Slane. This whole episode has been most unfortunate in that heritage and safety were unnecessarily pitted against each other. We would urge people to read not only the Board's decision in detail but also the accompanying inspectors' reports which clearly explain the reasoning behind the decision of the Board.” March 9th 2012.

N2 Slane Bypass proposal: MAHS Submission to Oral Hearing
Meath Archaeological and Historical Society

Press Release 25th February 2011

In its detailed submission to the N2 Slane Bypass oral hearing in Drogheda (22nd February), the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society made the following key points for consideration by An Bord Pleanála:
  1. The HGV ban on through traffic through Slane village must be brought into effect immediately. (This ban was called for in the Society's original letter of observation in February 2010 and it was noted then that the Meath County Council resolution to ban HGV through traffic in April 2009 had still not been acted upon).

  2. This bypass has been in preparation for the last 8-10 years. Nobody is holding this up apart from the NRA and Meath County Council. Since publication of the proposal in December 2009, this planning inquiry has been repeatedly delayed due to the fact that the NRA and Meath County Council had provided insufficient information to the Board.

  3. The Meath Archaeological and Historical Society believe that there is still insufficient information in the documentation for the Board to reach an informed decision on the proposal. For example: no archaeological experts on the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site were consulted or asked to advise during the route selection or EIS process. The location of this road will act as a definition of the western boundary to the World Heritage Site without the requisite archaeological evaluation having been carried out: no experts on World Heritage Sites were consulted to advise on the procedures and considerations to be taken into account in locating such a major development so close to a World Heritage Site of this nature.

  4. The appointment of a World Heritage Sites expert (Dr Douglas Comer) - at the insistence of An Bord Pleanala - immediately prior to the opening of the oral hearing, is a clear admission that there are alarming deficiencies in the proposal. (The Society itself identified a number of deficiencies and inconsistencies that its research has uncovered in going through the documentation – these were pointed out in the submission)

  5. The Society believes that if the decision is made to locate the Bypass as set out in the present proposal, then the height of the new bridge crossing the River Boyne should be lowered - as was proposed in the 2005 final route selection report. The 2005 report recommended a bridge height 10m over the valley floor whereas the present proposal is for a bridge height of 21m over valley floor. The Society pointed out that the lower bridge would have a significantly less visual impact on the 6,000 year old Brú na Bóinne landscape and views located in this “timeless pastoral setting” - a key requirement for its inclusion as a site of 'Outstanding Universal Value' in the World Heritage Sites list.

  6. The dual carriageway road and bridge proposal under consideration at the oral hearing has a traffic carrying capacity significantly over the capacity requirements as set out in the EIS (which was their most optimistic scenario). It is the Society's view that the proposal would be far more expensive than the 2005 proposal which was a single carriageway road with climbing lanes.

The submission was presented on behalf of the Council of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society by John Clancy, PRO.

John P. Clancy
Phone: 01 8259438
Mobile: 086 1613569


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