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Metro North planning permission approved

The project is proposed to run from Dublin city centre to the airport, but is expected to be put on hold by the Minister for Transport due to funding issues.

An artist's impression of the proposed Metro North project.
An artist's impression of the proposed Metro North project.

AN BORD PLEANÁLA has approved the planning permission for the Metro North rail project which is proposed to run from St Stephen’s Green in Dublin city centre to Swords and Dublin Airport.

However, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar may decide to suspend the project in the coming weeks in light of the current economic climate, as he did in the case of the Metro West project recently.

Suspending the Metro West light rail project in late September, Varadkar said he did not believe putting it through the planning process was a good use of taxpayer funding at this time and that it would be very difficult to secure the necessary funding for the whole project.

The Rail Procurement Agency (RPA) was granted a railway order for the Metro North in October 2010, but An Bord Pleanála requested that it relocate the maintenance depot from Belinstown (north of Swords) as planned, to Dardistown (near Dublin Airport).

The RPA says Metro North will have the capacity to carry 20,000 passengers in each direction per hour and 34 million passengers in total a year.

An Bord Pleanála said today that the Metro North application process cost €69,461. The permission is in place for the next ten years and also covers the acquisition of lands currently owned by Fingal County Council and the Dublin Airport Authority, as well as land occupied by Whitehall Rangers FC and Na Fianna GAA.

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The government is still considering which, if any, of the proposed rail projects including the Metro North and a DART extension to Dublin Airport will proceed.

Read: Metro West plan suspended over funding shortage >

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