An Bord Pleanála has refused to defer an oral hearing into proposals to build a €160m incinerator in Cork’s lower harbour.
The planning appeals board turned down the request from Cork Harbour for a Safe Environment, (CHASE) which is leading objections against the Indaver project.
CHASE had argued that it was unfair to objectors to give them so little time to prepare their case as they were only notified of the April 19 hearing on March 31/April 1 — giving them just 12 working days.
An Bord Pleanála has decided not to defer the hearing which is scheduled for the Carrigaline Court Hotel and may take at least three weeks to complete.
CHASE chairperson Mary O’Leary said the decision was unfair given the “stark contrast which has to be made with the consultation period of more than 3.5 years which Indaver have had with An Bord Pleanála to prepare this third application.”
Ms O’Leary said there is no element of fairness in this process, claiming it is heavily weighted towards the applicant. “It is, to the best of our knowledge, the shortest oral hearing notice and the longest consultation period on record. We are being squeezed to our very core,” she added.
An Bord Pleanála received more than 220 submissions objecting to the proposal, many of which contained multiple names.
Objections were also made by all four TDs for the Cork South Central constituency: Defence Minister Simon Coveney, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Fiann Fáil’s Michael McGrath and newly-elected Donnchadh O’Laoghaire of Sinn Féin.
Further objections were lodged by the CIT Students’ Union president on behalf of the student body at the National Maritime College of Ireland and 800 sailors at Haulbowline naval base.
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