Cork incinerator decision postponed for a third time

A decision on the fate of a controversial incinerator proposed for the lower Cork Harbour area has been postponed for the third time.

An Bord Pleanála was due to reach a decision on the €160 million Indaver project by January 24, having missed two previous due-dates on July 12 and again on October 26 last. 

However when contacted by the Irish Examiner, a spokesperson for the planning board said: “A decision is not imminent.”

Anti-incineration lobby group CHASE (Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment) said the repeated delays called into question the suitability of the Strategic Infrastructure Act. 

The 2007 act allows for application for approval for specified infrastructure developments to be made directly to the board, bypassing local authorities.

CHASE spokesperson Linda Fitzpatrick, said they “cannot understand the continued failure of An Bord Pleanála to make a decision on the Indaver application which was originally due to be decided by July 12 in accordance with strategic infrastructure guidelines”.

“This third postponement, aside from highlighting again that the community are the only party to whom deadlines apply, questions the suitability of the Strategic Infrastructure Act and leaves a shadow hanging over the future of the lower harbour area,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

She said CHASE believed they had exposed “serious irregularities in dioxin figures in Indaver’s application” on the final day of an oral hearing last May and that the decision for the planning board “should have been an easy one”.

In a statement Indaver said it “confirmed” that the decision had again been postponed.

The application was the subject of a 17-day oral hearing last year, with more than 220 submissions, including from Housing, Planning and Local Government Minister Simon Coveney and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

The application is Indaver’s third attempt to build a 240,000 tonne commercial and household waste facility at Ringaskiddy. 

The last application was refused in 2011 following a 20-day hearing in 2009. A decision on the latest application is now expected in the Spring.

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