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Planning permission granted for controversial incinerator in Ringaskiddy

Waste company Indaver has been granted permission by An Bord Pleanála to build the waste-to-energy incinerator in Cork Harbour.

The Ringaskiddy Harbour.
The Ringaskiddy Harbour.
Image: Google Maps

PERMISSION HAS BEEN granted for the building of the controversial incinerator in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.

The 17-year plan to put an incinerator at the Indaver site in Ringaskiddy had been met with resistance from the community, local politicians and members of PDFORRA, the Defence Forces representative body.

Despite this opposition, waste company Indaver has been now been granted permission by An Bord Pleanála to build the waste-to-energy incinerator in Cork Harbour.

The company applied in December 2015 to build the incinerator.

It was the third application to build an incinerator on the site since 2001.

An application to build the plant was rejected by An Bord Pleanala in 2011 on the grounds that the plan did not adequately plan for flooding or coastal erosion.

Previous hearings took place in 2003 and 2009, and inspectors at both recommended refusal for the project, with the 2009 inspector’s recommendation being carried by the Bord, and a planning refusal issued in 2011.

Two days before Christmas 2015 An Bord Pleanala ruled the incinerator constitutes strategic infrastructure development, allowing for another application.

Indaver submitted a planning application to An Bord Pleanála for a 240,000 tonne per annum waste-to-energy facility in Ringaskiddy.

The facility will treat household, commercial, industrial, non-hazardous and suitable hazardous waste, generating approximately 18.5MW of electricity for export to the national grid.

Oral hearings were held in April and May 2016 and a final decision has been expected for almost two years.

Commenting on the ABP decision today, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan told RTÉ’s Today With Sean O’Rourke that it was “hugely disappointing”.

“We’re not going into a world where we should be burning our rubbish,” he said.

Ryan said that burning of waste was a thing done in the past and that the world needed to move towards a circular economy of recycling and renewal.

“This is Government policy driving it. I think they do want and they could have stopped it at any stage,” he said.

Also speaking on the show, Mary O’Leary of the campaign group Chase said that the decision by ABP had undermined the credibility of the planning process.

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“What is the point of people going through an oral hearing… and yet it is all ignored?” she said.

She described the decision as “shocking”.

“We are shocked, angry and deeply disappointed that the Bord has granted permission,” she said.

The endless delays in coming to this decision was always a cause for concern but we hoped against hope that the Bord would make the right decision.

Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator, Jerry Buttimer said:

“Today’s decision by An Bord Pleanála is extremely disappointing. I know it will be very frustrating for the residents and also for the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) whose members have worked so hard on this matter.

“The case they made against the incinerator at the oral hearing of An Bord Pleanála was compelling.

“I stand with the people of Cork in opposition to this incinerator.”

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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