An Taisce this week presented two reports to New Ross Town Council and Wexford County Council.
The first report is a critique of the Draft New Ross Town and Environs Development Plan 2010 – 2016. It criticises the planners for not calling for an expansion of development land into County Kilkenny around Rosbercon.
An Taisce provides a map showing a proposed new boundary drawn into Kilkenny around Rosbercon which gives the development land that the town needs.
“The fact that this land is held unavailable to the town restricts the town and forces unbalanced pressure for development onto lands in County Wexford,” says An Taisce’s Tim Ryan.
The report points out that despite claimed liaison with County Kilkenny, this plan is not signed up to by County Kilkenny and no form of balanced plan between the two Counties is offered.
“An Taisce recognises that there is value in the NRT&EDP and deplores the fact that such work has been commissioned within the constraints outlined above,” Mr Ryan says.
However, An Taisce also criticises the use of statistics which now date back to the “Tiger” years and which show massive population growth projections when in fact the latest figures show steady declines in growth in population in the town.
An Taisce draws attention to specific traffic patterns (the NRA’s own traffic counters show that traffic into and out of Rosslare is now below 2002 levels) which are in direct contrast to inflated figures used by Wexford County Council in order to justify schemes affecting New Ross.
The second separate report covers Appendix III of the NRT&EDP which deals with Protected Structures. Wexford County Council has drawn up a list which does not properly correlate with the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage nor with An Taisce’s own inventory and which carries a series of errors and inconsistencies.
Tim Ryan says An Taisce “is worried that the Town Council might let go of control of some of the most important elements of the character of the town” and in pointing up the problems with the Appendix calls for it to be held in abeyance pending a full review.