Independent, Wednesday, April 26, 2000, Page 3:
in 10 of Ireland's archaeological sites and monuments is being
wiped out every decade, says a worried Heritage Council. More
than one-third of them have already been destroyed.
The council has criticised the £41bn National Development
Plan for failing to provide proper protection against the ravages
of new roads and other developments.
In its report, the council slams a government eco audit in the
development plan which says ``the possibility of the emergence
of some unsustainable patterns of development within the framework
of the plan cannot be
excluded''. It says the Government plan does not contain any assessment
of the massive impact on the environment from major infrastructural
projects over the next seven years.
The agency also warns that environmental and heritage issues must
be tackled at the start to avoid conflicts similar to Kildare
By-pass and the the Glen of the Downs road widening.
These conflicts caused delays and mainly arose through ``a failure
to recognise the potential for conflict and have clear strategies
in place at an early stage which will avoid or resolve the conflict''.
It severely criticises the government plan as repeatedly conferring
``an unfair weighting to the pursuit of economic goals at the
expense of environmental considerations''.
The Government eco audit was branded inadequate and unspecific
as it failed to consider what unsustainable developments were
likely to arise and to what extent they would result in long-term
The national plan did not comply with the Waste Management Act
as it failed to set targets for waste minimisation which would
help cut the amount of waste generated.
And the report hit out at the government document for failing
to increase the proportion of all non car journeys made by public
transport, cycling and walking and failing to develop a national
framework for integrated
The council recommends the NDP be subjected to full strategic
environmental assessment which it says was not achieved by a pilot
The NDP contained a number of significant infrastructural proposals
of a type that ``continually encounter major difficulties from
an environmental perspective when such projects are at an advanced
stage of planning and even implementation''.
Among its key recommendations it suggests a system of "heritage
appraisal" incorporated into the development plans of all
It also calls for an examination of the NDP to discover its likely
impact on the environment.
Read the story on the Irish Independent website
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