CONCERN FOR LOCAL JOBS AS CLONTIBRET QUARRY FORCED TO CLOSE OVER PLANNING ISSUE

2 March 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Michael McDonnell
michael@northern-standard.ie

Concerns about the future of a quarrying plant in Clontibret were raised this week when the owners had to shut it down because of the enforcement of a High Court planning permission decision.
A spokesperson for John McQuaid Quarries Ltd, Lemgare, Clontibret, confirmed to the Northern Standard yesterday that the company had to cease operations on Monday, as a result of which 13 staff were let go.
The present difficulties arise from a decision by the High Court in November 2010 to quash planning permission that was granted to the quarry by Monaghan Co Council, following a judicial review that had been sought by An Taisce. The environmental lobby group had argued that there was no legal basis for large-scale quarrying on the Clontibret site.
An Taisce had predicted at the time that the outcome of the Monaghan case would have important implications for other quarries which obtained registration under the 2000 legislation “without legal justification and procedure”.
The McQuaid Quarries representative said the current difficulty was entirely due to the planning issue and that the company was a viable ongoing business. The quarry had most recently been supplying the major new education campus project in Monaghan town.
It was hoped that the problems could be addressed, and the company was currently awaiting feedback from An Bord Pleanala on the issue. It was also hoped that new legislation being introduced with regard to quarrying would help rectify the situation.
But at the moment, the livelihoods of all those involved with the plant were at risk. The phone had not stopped ringing all week, the representative confirmed.
A protracted delay in resolving the matter could also have serious financial implications, the Northern Standard was told, not least because it had a lot of plant and machinery on lease or hire purchase.
The spokesperson said McQuaid Quarries wanted to emphasise that it was very grateful to all its past customers and all the people who supported it down through the years.
The company was confident it could continue to rely on local support on this issue.

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