Independent councillor Joe Bonner has called for a postponement of the date for the conclusion of the online planning consultation for the proposed new Rath/Kilmoon cross roundabout.
The process is due to conclude next Thursday and Bonner claims he has been asked to try and get it postponed.
He told Meath Live, ‘We are asking that this Public Consultation ie. Stage 3 “ Emerging Preferred Route” is extended/postponed to enable the public to have a meaningful engagement in the process. The general consensus of opinion in the area is that the existing online process isn’t working.
‘The drawings and information presented lack any significant detail or clarity on the “Emerging Preferred Route”. This lack of detail is particularly evident at the major intersections and densely populated areas along the proposed route. The time frame for this stage of the consultation is also way too short. We note that this Stage (Stage 3) is a non statutory process and an extension/postponement would not incur sanctions.
‘A postponement of stage 3 would also give the TII and the project team time to prepare a more detailed presentation and then come back to the public at a later date and get meaningful engagement. By then the country should opening up and we could have a more acceptable public consultation. The postponement of this stage of the process would have little or no effect on the timeframe of delivery of the overall project.
‘We are all very aware that we are in a level 5 lockdown due to COVID 19.
‘This is a very reasonable request to have this Stage of the public consultation postponed. We ask that we are allowed have a proper and meaningful engagement in the process’.
Bonner also claimed a postponement would enable those who may not be used to using the online process to become more informed.
‘There are many affected by this who would not be computer savvy or indeed have access to a computer or smartphone at all, in the normal course of events they could attend a public presentation and voice their concerns that way now they are being left out of the process altogether.
‘Equally, there are those who may not be able to read drawings and in the normal course of events they would have someone, be it, council official or friend, to do it for them, now even that is being denied, we have the time to get this right and we should utilise that time effectively to ensure we do.’
‘I have been out in the Cushenstown area for the last few days and will be there again tomorrow and in the evening I will be in Ashbourne retail park, I have done up visual display which may assist people, and I will certainly afford them any help I can, but ultimately a postponement is the best option.’