Lack of City Council preparedness for College Green Plaza rejection very worrying

– City Council CEO not present for Oireachtas Committee meeting is disappointing –

Fianna Fáil’s Transport Spokesperson, Robert Troy has said that Dublin City Council not having a Plan B in case of An Bord Pleanála ruling against the College Green Plaza proposal is very worrying and will cause frustration for commuters.

Deputy Troy was commenting after the Oireachtas Transport Committee received a reply from the CEO of Dublin City Council, Mr. Owen Keegan stating that he is not available to present to the Committee today and that no alternative plans had been prepared in the event of a refusal.

“I’m flabbergasted by the laissez-faire approach to this issue by Mr. Keegan. The College Green Plaza was the lynchpin of the City Council’s and NTA’s traffic plan for the city into the future. Many of the Council’s proposals for improving traffic flow in the city were contingent on the College Green Plaza getting the go-ahead.

“To my mind, having a backup plan to the proposal would have been common sense. It might not have been developed to the same extent but something should have been ready in case An Bord Pleanála ruled against the proposals.

“We must also remember that An Bord Pleanála sought a number of extensions to enable them make their decision. Dublin City council should have taken this on board and begun the process of developing alternative proposals that would ensure they weren’t sent back to square one.

“In addition, An Bord Pleanala rejected this decision on the basis that key pieces of planning and infrastructure were not put in place to deal with the pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would be displaced by the College Green Plaza. These are all issues that the DCC and NTA need to deal with, regardless of what happens to the College Green Plaza.

“It is disappointing that Mr. Keegan had chosen not to make himself available for today’s Transport Committee meeting. The decision not to provide the Committee with an advance copy of what the City Council officials would raise is also not acceptable in my opinion.

“I believe that the Committee is right in waiting until the City Council CEO makes himself available to answer our questions before it discusses the College Green Plaza fiasco again.

“It is beyond belief that with nearly three years wasted to date, Mr. Keegan nor his officials had alternative back up plans ready should An Bord Pleanála reject their preferred proposal,” concluded Troy.