Objectors to €220m Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway consider options

Objectors to a €220m Cork motorway that has received approval from An Bord Pleanála say they will consider their options in the coming days — including potential court action — to prevent the development from going ahead.

An Bord Pleanála has given approval to the M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy motorway, a 12.5km development that links the Bloomfield Interchange on the N28 junction with the N40 South Ring road junction and the Port of Cork to the east of the village of Ringaskiddy.

The news has been welcomed by the Port of Cork, Cork County Council, and Cork Chamber.

The proposal was subject to a 12-day oral hearing last year, during which a number of objectors, including residents living along the proposed route, raised their concerns about the motorway’s potential impact on traffic in the area and the health and wellbeing of local residents, among other issues.

Gerard Harrington, spokesperson for the M28 Steering Group that objected to the development, told the Irish Examiner that the announcement was “not totally unexpected” given the recent decision by the planning authority to approve the Indaver incinerator in Ringaskiddy.

He said the board’s references to the proposed improvements to the N28when making the Indaver decision was evidence that the motorway was to be expected.

However, he disagreed with the inspector’s assessment that the motorway will not cause any visual or health impacts on local residents.

He said the group has concerns that the decision to grant the motorway “had already been made” when the Port of Cork was granted permission to develop its Tier 1 Port in Ringaskiddy.

Brendan Keating, CEO, Port of Cork Company, welcomed the announcement.

“An adequate road network will enable the port to provide an efficient service to our customers and to continue to meet the economic needs of the region and future proof Cork as an international gateway for trade,” he said.

Cork Chamber’s director of public affairs, Thomas McHugh, said the M28 “is a key infrastructural project needed for all of Munster and for Ireland.”

“Not only is the M28 required to underpin the social and economic future of Cork by opening up more IDA lands and facilitate safer commuting, it is also the key link to facilitate the Port of Cork’s move to Ringaskiddy, opening up 220 hectares of lands in the Docklands to be developed for new housing, civic amenities and commerce,” said Mr McHugh.

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