Seanad Éireann - Volume 190 - 18 June, 2008

Prison Building Programme: Motion (Resumed).

The following motion was moved by Senator Donie Cassidy on Thursday, 29 May 2008:

That Seanad Éireann, noting:

that the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, having considered the need for a new prison in the Dublin area, has decided to proceed with the development of a prison in the District Electoral Division of Kilsallaghan, in the County of Fingal;

that the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has caused the documents specified in section 26(2) of the Prisons Act 2007 (No. 10 of 2007) relating to the development of a prison to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas together with a document containing the observations of that Minister on the environmental impact assessment and the report of the rapporteur;

that the proposed development relates to the construction of a prison:

(a) located in the District Electoral Division of Kilsallaghan in the County of Fingal;

(b) for the purpose of accommodating not more than 2,200 prisoners;

(c) which development will consist of buildings of a floor area of approximately 140,000 square metres within a site of approximately 57 hectares;

(d) the site of which development will be bounded by a perimeter wall approximately 7 metres in height constructed behind the existing landscaped perimeter screen planting; and

(e) which development will consist of buildings with a height of 2 storeys other than the control centre which will have a height of 3 storeys;

that the following alterations having been made by the Minister to the development in accordance with section 25 of the Prisons Act 2007 (No. 10 of 2007) in order to mitigate its visual and aural impact:

[185](i) the erection of a 3 metre high timber fence on the outer boundary of the car park areas on the west side of the site (marked B on the map placed by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform in the Oireachtas Library on 14 May 2008), the re-design and adjustment of the car park, the lowering of the level of the car park at the boundary by approximately 1.5 metres and the imposition of a height limit for lighting fixtures in such car parks so that all the lighting fixtures shall be less than 3 metres in height off the ground;

(ii) the widening of planting areas at the places marked A on the map placed by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform in the Oireachtas Library on the 14 May 2008 by not less than 4 metres, the planting, where appropriate, of larger, mature trees and the relocating of the wall further from the boundary by a similar distance not to exceed 10 metres to accommodate the widened planted area;

(iii) the use of concrete, which has been treated or conditioned in such a manner as to make it visually less obtrusive, on the exterior security walls on the West and North of the development; and

(iv) the development of a new access road;

that an environmental impact assessment was prepared with respect to the proposed development;

that the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform invited submissions or observations relating to the development of the prison from members of the public:

(a) by means of advertisement placed:

(i) in the following national publications on 29 February 2008:

The Irish Times;

The Irish Independent; and

The Irish Examiner;

(ii) in the following local publication:

the Fingal Independent for the week commencing 3 March 2008;

(b) by the erection of site notices at 5 locations on the perimeter of the site;

(c) by issuing a newsletter (‘Thornton Hall Newsletter 2’) on 3 March 2008 which was delivered by An Post to more than 1,000 houses in the locality;

(d) by causing an announcement of the proposed development to be published:

(i) on the website of the Irish Prison Service; and

[186](ii) on the website of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform;

that the main measures taken to avoid, reduce or offset any possible significant adverse effects of the development on the environment are:

(i) the use of a design based primarily on two storey buildings (except for the control centre), centrally based away from the perimeter with a cordon sanitaire and extensive tree screening minimising the visual and environmental impact including the impact on the local ground waters;

(ii) the retention, as far as possible, of the mature hedgerows and trees on the perimeter of the site and the creation of new habitat by tree planting;

(iii) the mitigation of potential impact from traffic by the development of a new access road diverting construction and operational traffic away from the road classified by the Minister for Transport as a regional road and assigned the number R130 in the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 188 of 2006), the town of Coolquay in the County of Fingal and the Francis Taylor National School at Kilcoskan in the County of Fingal and the provision of a regular dedicated bus service, related to demand, linking the city of Dublin to the site of the proposed prison;

(iv) the mitigation of noise, dust and other emissions by prioritising the construction of the perimeter wall that will aid the mitigation of noise, dust and other emissions and the adoption of a Construction Environmental Management Plan;

(v) the management of the surface water system in a manner which controls the quality and quantity of the surface water in a manner likely to avoid any adverse effect on local water drainage systems (which management includes the use of underground attenuation storage);

(vi) the implementation of an environmental management programme to ensure the correct handling and storage of potentially contaminating materials and waste disposal;

(vii) the use of solar water heating, rainwater harvesting, biomass boilers, natural ventilation and measures to minimise carbon emissions and water demand;

(viii) the minimisation of night light impact by the use of adjustable perimeter security lighting;

(ix) the preservation of the Thornton Hall building which will not form part of the prison site; and

(x) the investigation of the site to identify, record, resolve or protect potential archaeological heritage in the area of the development;

that visual representations of the exterior of the completed development appear at the end of this resolution;

[187] that the conditions relating to the construction of the new prison to be complied with by the principal building contractor or developer engaged by the Minister are:

(a) that the development shall not vary in any material way from that outlined in the environmental impact assessment and the visual representations of the exterior of the completed development as laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas;

(b) that the construction schedule shall:

(i) give priority to the construction of an access route from the road classified by the Minister for Transport as a regional road and assigned the number R135 in the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2006 (S. I. No.188 of 2006) to the main site at Thornton Hall and that route will be used as the sole access route for all heavy construction traffic for the development; and

(ii) thereafter give priority to the construction of those sections of the perimeter wall that will minimise the impact of construction work within that perimeter on persons residing or working in the locality;

(c) that the road classified by the Minister for Transport as a regional road and assigned the number R130 in the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 188 of 2006) shall not be used by heavy construction, delivery or removal vehicles other than:

(i) that portion of the road that must be crossed to gain access to the Thornton Hall part of the site from the new access route;

(ii) that portion of the road that must be accessed to construct the underpass from the new access route to the Thornton Hall part of the site; and

(iii) in emergencies where there is a threat to life or property and where the use of the new access route is not viable for that emergency;

(d) that the emergency exits at the north-west and south ends of the site shall not be used by service or delivery vehicles at any stage during construction or operation and shall only be used in the case of emergencies or emergency exercises;

(e) that construction shall not commence until a Construction Environmental Management Plan has been drawn up by the primary contractor, approved of by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and implemented in keeping with best practice and in particular the construction phase mitigation and other measures specified in sections 7.5, 8.7.1, 9.6.1, 10.5.1, 11.5.1, 12.6, 13.5 and 15.5 of the Environmental Impact Assessment shall be adhered to by the body or bodies contractually responsible for the construction of the development including any subcontractors;

resolves to approve the development of the said prison at Kilsallaghan in the County of Fingal.

Question put.

The Seanad divided: Tá, 26; Níl, 19.

    Boyle, Dan.

    Brady, Martin.

    Butler, Larry.

    Callely, Ivor.

    Cannon, Ciaran.

    Carty, John.

    Cassidy, Donie.

    Corrigan, Maria.

    Daly, Mark.

    de Búrca, Déirdre.

    Ellis, John.

    Glynn, Camillus.

    Keaveney, Cecilia.

    Leyden, Terry.

    MacSharry, Marc.

    McDonald, Lisa.

    Ó Domhnaill, Brian.

    Ó Murchú, Labhrás.

    O’Brien, Francis.

    O’Malley, Fiona.

    O’Sullivan, Ned.

    Ormonde, Ann.

    Phelan, Kieran.

    Walsh, Jim.

    White, Mary M.

    Wilson, Diarmuid.

Níl

    Bacik, Ivana.

    Bradford, Paul.

    Buttimer, Jerry.

    Coghlan, Paul.

    Doherty, Pearse.

    Donohoe, Paschal.

    Fitzgerald, Frances.

    Hannigan, Dominic.

    Healy Eames, Fidelma.

    McFadden, Nicky.

    Mullen, Rónán.

    Norris, David.

    O’Reilly, Joe.

    O’Toole, Joe.

    Phelan, John Paul.

    Regan, Eugene.

    Ross, Shane.

    Ryan, Brendan.

    White, Alex.

Tellers: Tá, Senators Déirdre de Búrca and Diarmuid Wilson; Níl, Senators Ivana Bacik and Pearse Doherty.

Question declared carried.