Galway residents secure permission to challenge council's waste facility permit decision

A group of Co Galway residents have secured permission from the High Court to challenge a decision of Galway County Council to issue a waste facility permit for a plant close to their homes.

The action has been brought by members of the 'Ballinasloe Says No' campaign who opposed the decision to grant a permit allowing Mr Sean Curran of Barna Waste to operate a waste facility at Pollboy, Ballinasloe, Co Galway.

In proceedings against the council, the locals claim the decision to grant the permit is flawed because of a failure to consider the possible adverse consequences and impact the facility would have on a nearby Special Area of Preservation (SPA).

The residents all live approximately 2km from the proposed facility, the High Court heard.

They claim the operator intends to carry out various activities including disposing of inert waste, as well as the recycling of inorganic materials and waste storage.

The facility is located on a 1.25-hectare site south of Ballinasloe on the floodplain of the River Suck and is approximately 1.5km away from the designated SPA- the River Suck Callows site.

The residents claim under provisions of the EU Habitats Directive, an Appropriate Assessment (AA) of the proposed facility should have been carried out by the council before it decided to grant the permit.

However, the residents claim no AA was carried out in respect of the site.

This they allege has created a situation where there is considerable uncertainty if there would be any adverse effects to the SPA.

Mr Curran is a notice party to the action.

The matter came before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who on an ex parte basis, granted the residents permission to bring proceedings against the local authority.

The residents represented by Michael O Donnell Bl, instructed by Gearoid Geraghty Solicitors, seek an order quashing the council's decision of March 29th last to grant the permit.

They also seek various declarations including that the council erred and failed to consider if the facility had the potential to impinge or have a significant effect on a protected site.

The case will come back before the court in October.

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