Locals celebrate incinerator ruling despite ‘disgraceful’ wait for decision

LOCALS in the Cork Harbour village of Ringaskiddy have been celebrating that an incinerator won’t be built in their midst.

In the local shop, Denis Murphy said it was “disgraceful” it has taken this long to get a final decision on a planning application first lodged 10 years ago.

“Look at all the money made by experts and lawyers taking part in all those hearings and all those court cases. Locals are pleased but you really have to ask questions about a planning process that carried on for so long.”

Just a few hours later, Indaver had published a statement inferring that they don’t see yesterday’s ruling as the end of the road. Many believe the waste management firm will lodge yet another planning application, taking into account the comments made by the planning appeals board in their ruling.

Debbie O’Grady refused to be disheartened. She lives in the middle of the village and described the Bord’s ruling as “fantastic”.

“All the community here have supported the anti-incinerator campaign and we’re very proud of the work they have done. If we had any more hazardous industry in this place, I think it would just blow up. We have more than our fair share of chemical industries here,” she said.

Breeda Twomey and her husband, Ger, said they have campaigned against the planned waste-to-energy plant all over east Cork and the harbour area.

“It just wasn’t the right place. We thought that all along and it’s fantastic to see the campaign paying off like it has today,” said Breeda.

Ger said the couple were fearful of how emissions from the planned incinerator or a fire at the site would blow towards their home.

“We couldn’t sit here and face that kind of risk,” he said.

Timeline:

- November 2001: Indaver first lodges planning application with Cork County Council for incinerator.

- May 2003: Councillors reject material contravention of development plan. Planning permission is refused.

- June 2003: Indaver lodges appeal with An Bord Pleanála. CHASE demands oral hearing.

- September-October 2003: Oral hearing results in inspector’s report citing 14 reasons why planning should be refused.

- January 2004: An Bord Pleanála decides not to accept report, and grants permission.

- January 2005: High Court gives go-ahead for judicial review.

- November 2007: Adjournment sought by applicants pending outcome of a case against Ireland by the European Commission.

- February 2008: Adjournment turned down by High Court, but appealed to Supreme Court.

- June 2008: Appeal heard and judgment reserved.

- August 2008: State and Indaver seek costs from residents.

- November 2008: State drops costs against residents. Indaver keeps costs order but planning case dropped.

- November 28, 2008: Indaver lodges application for hazardous and municipal waste incinerators under strategic infrastructure process.

- April-June 2009: Oral hearing.

- January 2010: An Bord Pleanála says it will ‘probably’ refuse permission for municipal incinerator, but will consider hazardous waste incinerator.

- August 2010: Indaver submits new information, with 40% building size reduction.

- Yesterday: An Bord Pleanála finally refuses the project.



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