Thursday 20 June 2019

Skerries set to fight drive-thru

Appeal will be pursued if permission granted for controversial bid

John Manning

The organising committee against the proposed drive thru fast food restaurant in Skerries has expressed its surprise at what it called 'the gaps' in Fingal County Council's request for further information from Marbleside Ltd., the company behind the controversial proposal.

Marbleside are proposing to build a drive thru fast food restaurant at Skerries Point, very close to Skerries Educate Together N.S., beside and overlooking Kelly's Bay Montesorri School and houses in Kelly's Bay estate.

Spokesperson for the committee, Joe O'Brien stated that there were 'numerous weaknesses' in the planning application'.

He said those weaknesses 'were specifically highlighted by over 150 objections that appear not to have been taken into account by the council as they have not raised them in their questioning'.

Mr O'Brien said that the council's request for further information on the project from Marbleside, leaves him with the impression that the council are inclined to grant permission for the proposed development'.

He said that the process is 'damaging the community's trust' in the planning process and is also giving the impression to the community that what the people want is being ignored'.

Mr O'Brien also complained that a petition against the project with 500 signatures was not accepted by the council.

The campaigner argued: 'It does also question the point in having a County Development Plan and objectives in the plan if they are not going to be adhered to.

'We are particularly talking about the objectives in relation to fast food outlets.'

He added: 'It also begs the question, what is the point in having an observation process if the majority of well informed points made in objections are going to be apparently ignored?

'It feels as if what the community wants doesn't matter but more importantly it feels as if the very strong and well-informed planning arguments against the development are not being fully taken on board.'

Mr O'Brien said: 'We put in the largest number of very high-quality objections as was possible but we are also now preparing for a longer battle if Fingal County Council does not do what is right for Skerries.

'So, while we are still hopeful that the council will see sense and reject the application we are now also preparing for an appeal to An Bord Pleanala and any other means at our disposal to stop this development.'

The applicant is being requested by Fingal planners to provide 'justification for the site selection'. Further information has also been requested in relation to the exact route of the foul sewer and surface water drainage, as well as access and parking. Information has also been sought on a pedestrian crossing at the proposed restaurant.

Fingal Independent