By Seán McCárthaigh
A large number of appeals have been lodged from residents and groups in the Carrigtwohill area against a decision to allow a quarry to reopen outside the town.
They are asking An Bord Pleanála to overturn the recent decision of Cork County Council to grant planning permission to Roadstone to recommence operations at a quarry at Lakcenbehy outside the East Cork town, just off the Carrigtwohill-Watergrasshill road.
Roadstone, the country’s largest construction and buildings material supplier, wants to extract 300,000 tonnes of sandstone rock from the 26.8-hectare site each year for the next 20 years. The quarrying is proposed to be carried out by blasting which is scheduled to take place on two occasions per month.
Local residents have voiced concern at estimates that 60 fully laden lorries will be departing the site every day and also at the road safety threat posed to people living in the area.
One objector, Rebecca Brady, said the road leading to the quarry is “totally inadequate to facilitate such increased volumes of HGVs” as it is both narrow and contains several extremely dangerous bends.
The decision is also being appealed by the board of management of Bishop Ahern National School in Leamlara which criticised the lack of consultation by Roadstone on its plans. The school claimed a traffic assessment of the development is “inadequate, unrealistic, and lacking in detail” and called for traffic calming measures and road widening to be made conditions if the project is allowed to proceed.
The Lisgoold-Leamlara Community Council said it had serious concerns about the traffic implications, particularly due to the presence of a school and a nursing home so close to the development.
“It is not immediately obvious what benefits this development will bring to the community,” said the group’s spokesman, Stephen Doyle.
Roadstone said it wants to extract sandstone rock in phases from two sections of the quarry, each lasting nine years, with the final two years devoted to site restoration. The company said its intention is to return the site to agriculture or amenity use at the end of 20 years.
Roadstone has also lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against conditions imposed on the decision to grant planning permission for the quarry.