Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Questions (289)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

418 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport if it is possible to put in place procedures which will in future eliminate the possibility of roads or motorways traversing heritage sites or buildings prior to the commencement of site works and thus eliminating waste of public money through appeal and counter-appeal while the works are in progress, such as has happened in the case of Carrickmines Castle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3204/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

As part of the planning and design of individual national road improvement projects, the National Roads Authority, NRA, and local authorities seek, in accordance with NRA project management guidelines, to identify from the earliest stages of project planning all potential environmental impacts including impacts on heritage sites or buildings. As part of this process, there is extensive consultation with environmental and heritage authorities and interests in order to avoid or reduce negative impacts. Major projects are also subject to comprehensive environmental impact assessment in accordance with the Roads Act 1993, which requires environmental impact statements on major road projects to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for approval.

The implications of the High Court judgment on the order of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government under the National Monuments Acts relating to archaeological works at Carrickmines are currently being considered by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.