Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A member of Mayo Co Council has expressed his dissatisfaction with colleagues over their failure to discuss the draft Mayo County Development Plan 2021-27.

Fine Gael Cllr Peter Flynn made his comments at an online meeting of the council yesterday. The meeting was held to consider a report from chief executive Kevin Kelly on public submissions about the draft plan.

Senior Planner John McMyler said that the council had received 1,267 submissions from the general public, including 994 about the campaign to build a greenway on the Western Rail Corridor.

However, councillors were reluctant to press ahead with a full draft plan and instead adjourned the issue to next month.

Cllr Peter Flynn said he was very disappointed that there was to be a further delay in the new development plan, which was first published in draft form in late 2020.

“I’ll be honest, I am really disappointed with this meeting. This document was published in December 2020, which was 13 months ago. All of us had the opportunity to get stuck into this and pick up the document or read it off a computer.

“And here we are today, 13 months on, and we haven’t progressed at all. There’s no point blaming Covid, this is down to us as 30 individual councillors, who just simply haven’t been taking the responsibility to get stuck into this document and to move it forward.

“I know multiple people that haven’t been able to get planning in the last number of months, that’s not the planners’ fault, that’s our fault as councillors, who haven’t bothered moving on this. We need to start on this next week, because there’s a huge body of work to get through.

“To be fair to the chief executive and the planners, they have put together a really detailed response for us nearly seven or eight months ago, and yet some people have done absolutely nothing on this. I think it’s really unacceptable that we are not in a position to move this forward. We need to make the changes that are required and stop wasting people’s time.”

Cllr Flynn also disagreed with a suggestions from Cllr Al McDonnell that the report should be thrown out because there were so many typographical errors in it. He also challenged Cllr Séamus Weir who had complained about not getting a hard copy of the report to his home.

“Cllr Weir said this is the most important document that will come before us but 13 months on, yet he hasn’t even picked it up in Castlebar, so what’s that telling the public?” Cllr Flynn asked.

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