Archive for May, 2009

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes new tougher planning laws

28th May 2009

Gormley’s changes will make it much more difficult for councillor’s to zone too much land for development

The Green Party’s candidate for the Carrigaline area of Cork County Council and for Passage West Town Council, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, has said that changes to planning laws announced today by Environment Minister John Gormley will allow for better planning in County Cork.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “The Green Party has brought in major changes to the planning system for the first time since tribunals were established to investigate corruption ten years ago.  It will mean better services for our community based on sensible planning, and a clampdown on dodgy developments.”

 “I particularly welcome the aspect of the new legislation which requires a two-thirds majority on the county or city council in order to zone land for development, whether it be for the adoption of the county development plan, or for an amendment to the plan.  This will mean that no one party will be able to rezone land on their own, and should prevent the kind of corruption which Frank Dunlop used, and which has ended up with his imprisonment this week.”

Cllr. Donnelly continued:  “In many ways the downfall of the Celtic Tiger happened in local authorities up and down the country getting too greedy, and zoning too much land for development.  Much of this excess zoned land is what now makes up the toxic assets which have brought our banking system to the brink of collapse, and which have necessitated the setting up of NAMA.  Most of this zoned land will see no development during my lifetime.”

“It was councillors from all the main parties, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Féin who voted through these zonings on councils up and down the country.  On many local authorities, it was only the Green Party representatives that opposed the widespread zoning of land for development.  A classic example of this was my Green Party colleague on Monaghan County Council, Vincent P. Martin, who was the only councillor to oppose the adoption of their county development plan, a plan which effectively allowed for the doubling of the population of the county.  Where are all these people going to come from?  They don’t exist, and this sort of overzoning is clearly ridiculous, but it has taken a Green Party Minister for the Environment to sort it out, as all the other main parties are up to their eyeballs in overzoning.  They seem to be too busy looking after their friends and backers to do a sensible job,” concluded Cllr. Donnnelly.

Cllr. Donnelly concluded:  “On a final note, these most welcome changes will promote a much more sustainable level of development, which will help support the economic renewal of the country, and will help break the cycle of boom and bust economics which all the main parties seem hell bent on continuing.”

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Cllr. Donnelly welcomes new legislation to regulate management companies

28th May 2009

Green Party candidate for the Carrigaline area of Cork County Council and for Passage West Town Council, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, has welcomed the introduction of the Multi-Unit Developments Bill which will help regulate management companies. The bill sets out new legislation on service charges, house rules and the resolution of disputes between management companies and apartment owners.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “Over the past decade, we saw a large increase in the building of apartments and small housing estates and the existing legislation under which property management companies currently operate is inadequate to deal with and resolve the various difficulties being experienced by individual apartment owners.”

Cllr. Donnelly continued: “Today’s announcement is a real boost for apartment owners in the Cork area as it provides more security within multi-unit developments. The Bill will improve the management and maintenance of the internal and external common areas in apartment complexes, and specify the calculation of service charges and the holding of annual meetings by management companies. The Bill also includes provisions for the resolution of disputes. These are all issues which have been coming up on the doors again and again.”

For more information see:  www.oireachtas.ie

New noise laws will bring peace to Cork residents, says Cllr. Donnelly

26th May 2009

On the spot fines for nuisance noise will deter boy racers

Minister for the Environment John Gormley today announced details of new laws that will clamp down on nuisance noise. The Green Party’s local election candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and for Passage West Town Council, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly welcomed the announcement saying “This will be particularly beneficial to those living in noisy areas or near construction sites. Likewise it will also give relief in neighbourhoods where intruder alarms make life miserable for all.”

The Noise Nuisance Bill is part of the Programme for Government. The bill was approved by Cabinet last week and will go before the Oireachtas this autumn. Launching the bill Minister Gormley said: “The new noise laws will improve the effectiveness of the existing resources available to tackle nuisance noise issues. It will strengthen existing local authority powers and allow for a system of immediate fines both for residential and business offenders.”

Under the current system council officials are not able to take action immediately to stop sources of noise pollution, they can go through the courts but this takes weeks. Authorised officers from local authorities and An Garda Siochana will be given new fast-track powers to take prompt and effective action to deal with intruder alarms when they sound continuously at premises.

Cllr. Donnelly concluded:  “Noise pollution affects nearly everybody and can be a matter of particular concern for those badly affected by boy racers, late night parties, early morning construction work or neighbours with blaring intruder alarms.  This legislation will also be of interest to those of us in Passage West living close to the dockyard, as there have been serious issues with noise pollution there for many years.  The World Health Organisation has said that noise pollution can have serious public health affects including sleep disturbance, auditory and physiological effects. This new bill aims to improve quality of life and allow people inCork to get their well-deserved rest without interruption.”

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes €696,400 funding for recycling in County Cork from the Environment Fund

23rd May 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for the Carrigaline area of Cork County Council, has welcomed the announcement from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley, of funding for the operating costs of bring banks and civic amenity sites from the Environment Fund. Cork County Council will receive €696,400 out of a total allocation of €6.4 million nationally for the period July to December 2008. This is an increase of €1.4 million over the equivalent period in 2007. The money in the Environment Fund comes from the Plastic Bag Levies and the Landfill Levies.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “It is very welcome news that Minister Gormley has increased the level of funding from the Environment Fund to help local authorities defray the costs of running bring banks and civic amenity sites. With the global market for recyclates suffering from a huge drop in prices currently, it is costing all local authorities significantly more than it used to, to provide bring banks and civic amenity sites. This demonstrates the Government’s determination to support measures to aid the recovery and recycling of waste.”

Cllr. Donnelly continued: “I hope that Cork County Council will now use this increased funding to remove the gate fee of €3 for the civic amenity sites which they imposed earlier this year. This gate fee is proving to be a huge disincentive for the public to do the right thing, and recycle as much of their waste as they possibly can. In these times of economic constraint on many families, it is vitally important that they do not incur extra costs in order to recycle their waste in the correct way. It is vital that Cork County Council removes the €3 gate fee for civic amenity sites right away.”

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes An Bord Pleanála decision to grant Harbour Cat Ferries planning permission in Passage West and Monkstown

20th May 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for the Carrigaline area of Cork County Council, has welcomed An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for Harbour Cat Ferries for their landing stations at Passage West and Monkstown.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “It is great news for the harbour communities that Harbour Cat Ferries has now got planning permission for its landing stations at Passage West and Monkstown. I hope that the service can get up and running soon, following their previous planning permissions for their landing stations at Cobh, Crosshaven and in the City at Horgan’s Quay. While some concerns have been expressed by members of the community about the proposed service, I think it will prove to be a very valuable service to the community. Passage West Rowing Club had expressed particular concerns, in the fear that they will lose the part of the river in which they row to the jetty for the ferry. I am sure that with proper consultation, any issues can be satisfactorily resolved. An Bord Pleanála’s inspector has recommended that a river usage management plan be put in place, and that would be a very welcome development.”

Cllr. Donnelly continued: “I first put down a motion to Passage West Town Council seeking a waterbus service such as this about four years ago. However none of the statutory bodies wished to pursue it, and it fell to a private operator to get the service up and running. It will prove to be vitally important in the future to have a variety of transport options available, as cars will become more and more expensive to run due to the rising price of oil as it starts to run out. Hopefully this will be the start of Cork Harbour’s road to achieving its potential as the national centre for heritage, tourism and culture it should be.”

The best way to help the economy is for people to buy Irish in Irish owned shops, says Cllr. Donnelly

19th May 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, urges all consumers to help the Irish economy by buying Irish products, particularly food products, in Irish owned shops.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “From meeting many people working in the food industry as I go around canvassing, there is obviously huge pressure being put on this vital sector of our economy by the current recession. There is a huge temptation for consumers to go out and buy the cheapest products they can get, whatever the quality and wherever they have come from. People must understand that when they buy foreign produced food in foreign owned shops, most of that money is effectively leaving the Irish economy. However if they buy Irish made food is Irish owned shops, all of that money is staying in the Irish economy, which benefits us all.”

Cllr. Donnelly continued: “There is huge pressure being put on Irish owned shops and food producers by cheap imported food at the moment. Many of the large retailers, which are still highly profitable, are using the recession as an excuse to squeeze the margins of the Irish food producers. In the long term the only ones to gain from this will be their own shareholders, not the Irish consumers. For our own long term good, we must resist the temptation to save a few euros in the short term, as if the Irish food industry goes into decline, the effect on the Irish economy will be colossal, and that would have a very negative effect on all our pockets. It is vitally important that we secure the profitability of the Irish food and farming sectors, with all the hundreds of thousands of jobs within that sector, by buying quality Irish food in Irish owned shops, wherever we possibly can.”

Cllr. Donnelly says the people of Cork Harbour will never allow the incinerators to be built

15th May 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, addressed the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing into the Ringaskiddy incinerators yesterday.  The hearing has now adjourned for the next three weeks.

After the hearing, Cllr. Donnelly, who is a member of the CHASE steering committee, said:  “In my presentation to the An Bord Pleanála inspector I focused on three main areas.  The first of these was that the direction of development in Cork Harbour has changed, away from being a purely industrial zone to becoming a centre for tourism, culture and amenity.  With the closure of the steelworks and the IFI fertilizer factory, Cork Harbour now has the chance to reach its potential as a premium waterfront destination.  The Cork Area Strategic Plan calls Cork Harbour ‘Europe’s most exciting waterfront’, and while it certainly has the potential to achieve that, it has not yet done so.  However with plans to open up Spike Island to visitors, existing planning permissions for marinas at Monkstown and Passage West, the return next year of the Cork Swansea ferry service, and with ongoing efforts to have Cork City and Harbour achieve UNESCO World Heritage Site status, the impetus for development has clearly changed.  The building of a huge obtrusive incinerator in the middle of all of this, would surely scupper any chance of Cork Harbour achieving the global recognition it should have.  Sydney Harbour has its iconic Opera House, Cork Harbour would have a monstrous incinerator.”

Cllr. Donnelly continued:  “I also discussed how my Green Party colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley, has made clear statements as to how national waste policy is changing.  Given that five years ago the incinerator was granted planning permission solely on the basis that it was Government policy, it is crucial that the inspector and the board understand that Government policy is shifting.  While the full review of waste policy is still underway, and won’t be ready until the Autumn, the Minister has made many clear indications that the policy has shifted away from incineration.  For example he recently indicated that there will be a doubling of the landfill levies later this year, with the introduction of a similar incineration levy, with the express intent of making it less economically viable to landfill or burn our waste, and to encourage waste minimisation, recycling and reuse.”

“I finished my presentation by focusing on how there is absolutely no community acceptance for the incinerators in the communities around the harbour, and beyond into the wider Cork community.  These communities have fought the incinerators for eight years already unbowed, and will continue to fight for as long as it takes.  I told the inspector that it would save our communities a lot of future grief is she refused this planning application now, but that the communities would never allow the incinerators to be built, whatever that takes,” concluded Cllr. Donnelly.

The full text of Cllr. Donnelly’s oral presentation to An Bord Pleanála is available at:  https://dominickdonnelly.com/links/dominicks-oral-submission-to-indaver-oral-hearing/


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