THE director of a waste management company and his wife must remove a 1.6km road constructed from waste material without planning permission in a conservation area, the High Court has ruled.
Mr Justice John Hedigan made the orders against Sean Doyle, a director with Oxigen Environmental Ltd, and his wife Mary Doyle over the road constructed at lands the couple own at Portree and Ballymanus, near the village of Vicarstown, Portlaoise, Co Laois.
Laois County Council, which sought the orders against the couple, told the court that the roadway had been constructed on part of the Nore-Barrow Special Areas of Conservation (SAC).
They claim the road is an unauthorised development and poses a risk to the environment.
The council sought orders under the 1996 Waste Management Act compelling the Doyles of Salterstown, Dunleer, Co Louth, to remove the material from the site, dispose of it at a suitable licensed facility and restore the habitats to their original state.
The Doyles had accepted that the roadway was built without permission, but had argued the best way to rectify the situation was to remove just 400 metres of the road.
In his ruling yesterday, Mr Justice Hedigan rejected the couples submissions, and agreed with the council that the entire road should be removed. The material used to construct the road was non-inert and contained leachate, the judge added.
The courts, he said, had a duty to uphold Irish and European legislation in regards to the protection of the environment and in particular when it comes to areas of Special Conservation.
Previously the court heard that more than 6,500 tonnes of material, taken from an Oxigen facility in Dublin over a three to four-month period, was used to build a roadway for Mr Doyle.
The matter was adjourned for two weeks when final orders in the case will be made.