The decision date on plans for a controversial commercial incinerator in Cork Harbour has been deferred for a fourth time, prompting dismay among the local community.
An Bord Pleanála was supposed to have made up its mind on the project by July 12 last year, in the wake of an oral hearing, but failed to do so. At the time, the board said this was due to “the complexity of the issues involved”.
It set a new deadline of October 26 to decide on the €160m hazardous and municipal waste incinerator in Ringaskiddy, but this was deferred to January 24, 2017.
The delay was roundly criticised by Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE), which has campaigned against it since the first planning application was made 17 years ago.
In January, a further deferral was announced, this time to March 22. However, this date will not be met either. When asked why by the Irish Examiner, a spokesperson said: “No comment.”
A spokesperson for CHASE said they were “shocked” as the report has gone to the board.
“We really thought the fact that the report had gone to the board would produce a result,” the spokesperson said.
The controversial application for a 240,000 tonnes-per-annum waste-to-energy facility was the subject of a 17-day oral hearing in April and May of last year, with more than 220 submissions including objections from all four Cork South Central TDs, including the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney, and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.
It is Indaver Ireland’s third application since 2001 to build the incinerator at Ringaskiddy and the project had cost the company €12m prior to last year’s oral hearing. Permission was granted but expired in the first instance and was refused in 2011 on the grounds it was not compatible with the county’s waste management strategy and the company had not factored in road flooding and coastal erosion risks. Should the project get the go-ahead this time, the decision can only be challenged in the High Court.
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