02 July 2007

 

Knock Airport decentralisation veto 'crass nonsense'

 

The Council for the West has described An Bord Pleanala's decision not to grant planning permission for the decentralisation of the department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to Knock Airport as 'crass nonsense of the highest order.

 

Council Chairman Sean Hannick, calling for a fundamental change in the planning process, said it was absurd that someone in Dublin could object to and scupper plans for a building of this magnitude and significance adjacent to Ireland West Airport Knock.

"Our Council and others have been campaigning for years to have a business and technology park at the Airport with incentivised tax breaks. We believe that such an environment could attract up to 3,000 badly needed jobs within a short time. More than that, it would act as a magnet to draw enterprises and jobs to the region," said Mr Hannick.

 

He said it was fortunate that the kind of blinkered thinking shown by An Board Pleanala did not exist when the Shannon Free Airport  industrial zone was being created. "If it had, where would Shannon be now?" he asked.

 

"One has to wonder what the implications of this decision are for any further large projects in rural areas generally and at Knock Airport in particular," added Mr Hannick.

 

He said the people of the region should not accept the decision and should move to have it reversed by what ever means lay at their disposal.

 

"The Council for the West will not take this crass decision lying down, just as Monsignor Horan did not accept the bureaucratic mouthings when he was pushing ahead with his airport. He would have said this Bord Pleanala decision was not right and would have fought to have it changed," added Mr Hannick.

 

**ENDS**

 

The Council for the West is a voluntary, independent, non-political body which monitors and reports on the socio-economic state of the West and acts as a lobby group promoting the development of the West. The Council for the West was set up by the Western Bishops and has successfully campaigned for retention of Objective 1 Status for the region.

It continues to campaign for balanced regional development and highlights issues of major concern for the region.

 

Contact Points:

Public Relations Officer:   Terry Reilly 086 8109518 / 096 21603 / email: terryreilly@eircom.net

Co-ordinator:                       Caroline Wilson, Tel: 096 32975 / email: cftwest@iol.ie


Spokepersons:

Sean Hannick: Co.Mayo, Tel: 096 32255 / 087 2564824, email: shannick@killala-precision.com