Galway Port distances itself from Banagher Chilling planning objection

An Bord Pleanála is currently considering a planning appeal for the development of the Banagher Chilling meat processing plant in Banagher, Co. Offaly.

A submission containing the names and addresses of objectors to the development has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála for its consideration. The case is due to be decided by January 4, 2021, according to the planning board’s website.

However, this list of objectors, seen by AgriLand, contains one person whose address is listed as ‘Galway Harbour Company’, which is an agency under the remit of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Furthermore, this person’s name appears twice, once under her maiden name and once under her marriage name.

Galway Harbour Company trades as Port of Galway, and oversees the port in Galway city.

In a letter addressed to the secretary of An Bord Pleanála on September 8 (Tuesday of last week) that has also been seen by AgriLand, Galway Harbour Company sought to distance itself from the objection, saying: “Galway Harbour Company never has and does not intend to have any interest in the above planning application.”

AgriLand contacted Galway Harbour Company on this issue on several occasions, but has not yet received any formal comment on the matter.

Other documents show that the objector in question also got in touch with the secretary of An Bord Pleanála on September 1, after AgriLand first made contact with Galway Harbour Company.

In it, she said that her name was included on the original list of objectors (with her permission) that was submitted to Offaly County Council (planning applications go through county councils, then, if appeals are made, applications go before An Bord Pleanála).

She said that her work address (Galway Harbour Company) was included “in error” in the original objection to the county council.

In this letter to the higher planning authority, she indicates that this was highlighted to Offaly County Council at the time, and a request was made that the submission be corrected.

However, despite this, the subsequent submission to An Bord Pleanála still retained the Galway Harbour Company address.

The fact that this person appears twice under her maiden name and marriage name was confirmed to An Bord Pleanála yesterday (September 14) in a further letter from the woman in question, seen by this publication.

Her letter says: “I refer to my letter of September 1 and wish to add a further clarification.”

She then goes on to admit that her name appears twice (under her maiden name and marriage name) on both the Offaly County Council planning application (as an objector) and in the appeal against the application lodged with An Bord Pleanála.

She said that her childhood address is in Banagher, while she currently lives in Co. Galway. She also confirmed that she retains her maiden name for work purposes.

She ended the letter by requesting that her name with the Galway Harbour Company address be removed from the planning appeal.

Also yesterday, Galway Harbour Company sent another letter to An Bord Pleanála reiterating that it does not have any interest in the planning application.