Rock blasting project at Donard quarry rejected by council
WICKLOW County Council refused to plan an application to quarry the rock one meter below existing road level by blasting at a quarry in Deerpark, Donard.
he development planned by applicant Herbie Stephenson consisted of a total area of 2.1 hectares including rock extraction by blasting up to 165 mOD, material processing using a mobile plant and landscaping and quarry restoration.
The application also included all other ancillary facilities and works and a building permit was requested for a period of ten years. The application was also accompanied by a Natura Impact Statement (NIS).
The application site is approximately 2.4 hectares in size and consists of an existing quarry, with a footprint of approximately 0.8 hectares surrounded by agricultural land with wooded boundaries.
The quarry site was originally authorized due to its existence before October 1, 1964. Despite this, authorization was granted in 1991 for a period of five years.
The planned reserve of materials at the quarry was 750,000 tons which were to be extracted over a period of ten years with planned deliveries of ten to twelve loads per day.
However, Wicklow County Council’s Planning Section disputed the proximity of the proposed development to the River Slaney Valley SAC and the Wicklow Mountains SAC and SPA. It was considered that the development would likely have significant environmental effects and should be subject to an environmental impact assessment given its proximity to the upper Castleruddery quarry and potential cumulative impacts.
Consideration was also given to the type of development proposed, the potential impact on water quality in the area, and the location of a peregrine falcon breeding site. Significant impacts on the integrity of the Slaney River Valley SAC and the Wicklow Mountains SPA/SAC could also not be excluded.
The planning section said: “In the absence of a Natura impact statement, the planning authority cannot make a proper assessment. Therefore, allowing the proposed development would be contrary to the Habitats Directive and to good planning and sustainable development.
It was also decided that the proposed development would interrupt the view from the Table, Leoh, Cannow and Lugnaquilla mountain range and create a visual scar on the landscape, negatively impact the visual amenities of this area and be clearly visible. of the national road, the N8l and would therefore be contrary to good planning and sustainable development.