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Permission Granted For Ringaskiddy Incinerator

In what is a devastating piece of news for South Cork, An Bord Pleanala have granted permission for the Ringaskiddy Incinerator, overturning once again the Oral Hearing Inspectors recommendation to refuse planning.

All of Bord Pleanala’s three inspectors who held the 2003, 2009 and now the 2016 hearings recommended refusing permission.  The 2011 ruling upheld the Inspectors recommendation and refused planning.

CHASE Chairperson Mary O’Leary said “We are shocked, angry and deeply disappointed that the Bord has granted permission.

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.

For a third inspector to recommend a refusal of permission underlines the unsuitability of this site and really questions why the Bord saw fit to grant it, even in spite of the erroneous dioxin figures exposed on the final day of the 2016 hearing.”

Bord Pleanala have ‘addressed’ the Inspectors reasons for recommending refusal under the headings below:.

– Compatibility with emerging campus and heritage

– Evaluation of alternatives

– Adequacy of EIA

– Dioxins & health

– Over devleopment of Site

– Aviation & helicopter safety

CHASE will examine the full order before looking at what options are open next.

An Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD said, “My initial reaction to this decision is one of deep disappointment and frustration at the news that permission has been granted to Indaver Ireland to build an incinerator in the heart of Cork Harbour. I have opposed this application from the beginning and have supported the local community in their efforts to prevent this from going ahead for a decade now. At the time of the oral hearing I made a detailed submission in person outlining that it was inconceivable for a major incinerator to be developed in a harbour area where the Government has already invested millions in a marine college, clean-energy research centres and the clean-up of the old Irish Steel/Irish Ispat site on Haulbowline island. The An Bord Pleanála Inspector who managed the oral hearing recommended refusal based on many of those arguments.”He continued, “I have spent a lot of time around the Cabinet table making the case for significant investment in Cork harbour. We have a master plan for Spike Island and a master plan for Haulbowline Island including investment of €70m. We are working hard to create something very special at the heart of Cork harbour area which is of national significance. I can understand that people will be very angry and frustrated at this announcement today and I share this sense with them.”

Michael McGrath TD said,  “An Bord Pleanála’s decision to approve an incinerator for Ringaskiddy is a disgrace and an affront to the local community who have overwhelmingly opposed the project for over 17 years. Deputy McGrath commented, “I am angry and deeply saddened by the decision of An Bord Pleanála. This is the wrong decision and flies in the face of the immense ongoing work to develop Cork Harbour as an exciting hub of education, tourism, recreation and maritime activity. The fact that the Board overturned the considered recommendation of the Inspector, who advocated refusing permission, adds insult to injury. “In 2011, Fine Gael abolished the incineration levy that was put in place by Minister John Gormley in the previous Fianna Fáil / Green Party government. This decision undoubtedly gave encouragement to companies such as Indaver to pursue incineration projects and helped to secure the commercial viability of incineration. This decision now needs to be reviewed. “I also support the call by CHASE for an investigation into two apparent meetings between Indaver and the Department of the Environment in March and July 2011 for which we are told no record exists within the department. Around this time, the government made the decision to abolish the levy on incineration. I have tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister asking him to provide full details of these meetings. “While today’s decision is a major setback, the fight against this project will go on. I will give every possible support in the fight to prevent this project proceeding.”

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said, “Deeply disappointed and quite appalled to learn planning permission has been granted for the Indaver incinerator at Ringaskiddy. I will support the local community on their ongoing opposition to this, whether through the courts or otherwise”.

Micheál Martin TD said, “I’m shocked to hear about the decision on incinerator. It is the wrong project in the wrong location. Very unfair to residents of Ringaskiddy and surrounding areas. I will work with community to oppose this decision.”

The Green Party’s representative in Cork South Central, Lorna Bogue, said:

“I am extremely disappointed in this decision by An Bórd Pleanála. They were provided with several strong environmental reasons as to why this facility was not suited to this site. Furthermore members of the Green Party in Cork uncovered information that was misleading within the Environmental Impact Statement regarding the true level of dioxins that would be emitted by this facility.”

John Ahern, Managing Director, Indaver responded to the decision, “we are pleased that An Bord Pleanála has decided to grant permission for our Ringaskiddy project, however, we are conscious that this decision simply marks another step in a long process”.

Further information will issue as soon as possible.

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