Serious Questions over Zoning of Meath Lands Remain Unanswered
Aontú Meath County Councillor Emer Tóibín has stated that “serious questions remain unanswered in relation to the zoning of 35 acres of agricultural land at Liscarton Navan”.
“The land was bought in August 2016 for €500,000, re-zoned to light industrial use in July 2017 and planning permission granted in June 2018. The land is now worth millions of euro. It is alleged that within weeks of the sale agreement in 2016, a Fianna Fáil Meath County Councillor was involved in discussions about the re-zoning of lands at Liscarton”.
“A detailed article has been published in the Village Magazine which alleges that members of the Fianna Fáil Councillor’s family benefitted to the tune of millions of euros as a result of the rezoning of lands outside Navan by the council”.
"Despite this conflict of interest it remains unclear what interaction the Fianna Fáil Cllr had with the council in the rezoning process, did the council ascertain what exactly was the Cllr’s conflict of interest and was the purchase of land by the Cllrs family made as a result of the Cllrs input in the process. Details within the Village Article suggested that according to the consultant Engineers involved in the process the Councillor is down as ‘applicant’ in documents filed with the planning application yet the Council refute this. It is alleged that Council records in May and late July, 2016 indicate that the Councillor attended a meeting of Councillors of the Navan Municipal District at which the re-zoning of lands at Liscarton was discussed".
There is a shocking lack of transparency in this process. Has Meath County Council launched an internal inquiry? What are the terms of reference of this inquiry? Who exactly is being investigated and most importantly by whom? It is Aontú’s view that such investigations should be held independently. Has the inquiry reached its conclusions and have recommendations been issued? The elected representatives ofthe people of Meath should be privy to this process?
These allegations are extremely serious and full transparency is called for especially now as we prepare to sit down and vote on the new County Development Plan in two weeks’ time. Aontú Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín will also seek to raise this in the Dáil.