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Saturday 10 June 2023 Dublin: 17°C
Alamy Stock Photo A view of Ringaskiddy from nearby Cobh.
# Cork harbour
Community Group welcomes High Court ruling on Incinerator planning
The planning application for the Indaver facility in Ringaskiddy, Cork will now be re-examined.

A COMMUNITY GROUP that led a 20 year campaign against a proposed €160 million incinerator in Cork Harbour has welcomed a High Court decision upholding the quashing of planning permission for the project.

However, members of Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) say that they are conscious that the battle is not won.

They  will have to “continue their fight” as a result of the ruling that An Bord Pleanala can reconsider the planning application from a particular stage in the process.

Mr Justice David Barniville  today ruled the application for planning permission for the plant at Ringaskiddy can now be examined afresh from 2017.

In March Mr Justice Barniville upheld CHASE’s challenge to the permission granted by the board in 2018 to Indaver Ireland for the incinerator at Ringaskiddy.

A ruling was deferred until today on whether to permit An Bord Pleanála to reconsider its permission decision for the incinerator or to simply quash its permission for the development, meaning the entire planning process has to restart.

Linda Fitzpatrick, CHASE PRO, said that she felt a variety of feelings in relation to the ruling this morning.

“The permission has been quashed and obviously we are delighted about that. We are delighted at having won the case and it being held up on unprecedented grounds of objective bias. We are just going to have to deal with the application being resubmitted and we will be watching that very closely.

“There is no relief today because we don’t have closure. We are delighted at having won but it is business as usual and we will continue the fight.”

CHASE Chairperson Mary O’Leary said they had won their case by securing an “unprecedented objective bias judgement against An Bord Pleanála”.

“Now we are putting the Bord on notice to make a fair and lawful decision or they will face us again in the future.

“Since this 2016 application the landscape of policy, of EU Legislation and of Cork Harbour itself have changed entirely, which must all be considered now in assessing this application.  The reality is we will never allow this incinerator to be built in Cork Harbour.”

CHASE was established in October 2001 just one month before Indaver applied to Cork County Council for planning permission for a waste management facility in Ringaskiddy consisting of a 100,000 tonnes per annum hazardous waste incinerator, a hazardous waste storage and transfer facility and a waste recycling facility.

Since then the project has been the focus of two oral hearings and a number of applications and appeals.

Meanwhile, Indaver has welcomed the decision to remit its facilty in Ringaskiddy back to to An Bord Pleanála for further consideration.

“We acknowledge today’s High Court decision and look forward to actively participating in the next stage of the process. As we have said previously, our proposed facility in Ringaskiddy is fully in line with EU, national and regional waste policy. The Southern Region Waste Management Plan (SRWMP 2015-2021) supports the development of up to 300,000 tonnes of thermal recovery capacity for the treatment of municipal waste.”

The population of Cork city and county is close to 550,000 and growing, with the National Planning Framework (NPF) making provision for the population to grow to approximately 770,000 by 2040.

In light of such a growing population, with associated greater volumes of waste arising, and an identified policy need for further progress towards self-sufficiency, the Ringaskiddy facility will assist in meeting this need. It will also minimise the export of waste to continental Europe whilst also addressing the present spatial imbalance in the Southern region.”

Indaver says current waste generated in the region is transported to Leinster or exported abroad for recovery in waste-to-energy facilities.

“As we transition to net zero carbon and a circular economy, we need to develop local sustainable waste infrastructure which minimises environmental impact while maximising value from our waste.

On January 13th, 2016, Indaver submitted a planning application to An Bord Pleanála for a waste-to-energy facility in Ringaskiddy. The proposed facility would treat household, commercial and industrial waste, generating electricity for export to the national grid.”

Olivia Kelleher
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