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Concern Over Marino Site Plan As Residents Object To New Proposals

Writes Ciaran Dineen

An Bord Pleanála will be asked to intervene over a planning application relating to proposals at Marino Point for a new port facility on the site of the former Irish Fertiliser Industry plant, which has led to objections from local residents in Passage West.

Three appeals have been lodged to An Bord Pleanála against Cork County Council’s decision to grant permission for a project led by Goulding Chemicals, and will involve the relocation of its existing fertiliser company from Cork’s docklands to Marino Point. The proposal would also involve use of the existing jetty on the site, in order to facilitate the operation of cargo vessels.

One of the objectors to the application is Passage West resident and local councillor, Marcia D’Alton (Ind). At the latest meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD), Cllr D’Alton asked colleagues to support her motion, “that in the light of its potential impact on Passage West, this Municipal District committee would submit an observation to An Bord Pleanála on the proposed Gouldings/Belvelly Marino Development Company proposals for development at Marino Point.”

Speaking in the Council Chambers on the matter, Cllr D’Alton informed other local representatives that the site is only located 450 metres away from Passage West across the water and that the intensification and scale of activity that is proposed to take place as part of development and operations could create significant knock-on effects for those living in the town.

A major concern held by Cllr D’Alton and other residents is the potential noise pollution that could result from the planning proposal. She observed that in her experience, previous reports relating to Marino Point have referred to Passage West as being “across the Harbour”, suggesting that this use of language creates a false narrative that development would therefore not impact on residents in the area.

She added that “water is not an absorber of acoustics, it rebounds acoustics, sounds are amplified over water and I have huge concerns over this. I’m also particularly conscious, having gone through the extensive documentation that been provided with the planning application, that there is no mention of night-time noise at the jetty and residents of Passage West already, with the very limited activity at that jetty, have quite considerable difficulty in sleeping at night and there was no mention of this as part of the application.”

Cllr D’Alton received support from Cllr Jack White (FG) and Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF), with the latter indicating that the MD should submit a strong response in relation to the application, noting that there is a significant history between the site and Passage West, with there being some particularly bad memories from previous activity.

It was agreed that the MD would make an observation to the appeal process over the next couple of weeks. A final decision is due to be made on the application in July, with all details available on An Bord Pleanála’s website.

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