High Court rejects challenge to Cobh scrap metal facility

A challenge to An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant permission for the construction of a scrap metal processing facility at the former ship building yard in Cobh has been dismissed by the High Court.

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan yesterday said he was satisfied to dismiss the challenge brought by local residents aimed at overturning the planning authority’s decision to allow a scrap metal processing facility, a waste storage facility and quayside storage be developed at Cork Dockyard, Rushbrooke Commercial Park, Cobh. The judge said there was nothing unreasonable or irrational about the planning decision.

The action was brought by members of the Cork Harbour Alliance for Responsible Development (Chard), made up people who live close to the proposed facility.

They had claimed that the development would generate a large volume of extra traffic that would endanger public safety.

The residents sought orders quashing the board’s decision, made in March 2013 to grant planning permission at the site formerly known as the Verolme Dockyard. The permission had been subject to 10 conditions.

Cobh Town Council had initially refused to grant planning permission, which was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. The board, despite the fact its own inspector recommended in his report that planning permission not be granted, gave it the go-ahead.

The residents also sought a declaration that the board failed to do an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

It was also claimed by residents that the board failed to adequately take into account extra traffic movements per year that would be generated by the proposed facility and that no adequate reasons or considerations were given by the board in relation to its decision to grant permission.

The board said it had carried out an EIA of the proposed development which it determined would not pose unacceptable adverse effects on the environment. The proposal constituted proper planning and development for the area, it said.

An Bord Pleanála said the development would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and would not cause serious injury to nearby property.

The judge said looking at the decision as a whole it was “perfectly clear” the board had “explicitly engaged with the traffic issue which concerned the residents”.


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