Planners reject recycling facility proposal for north Cork

Plans for a recycling facility next to a controversial waste transfer plant on Cork’s northside have been rejected.

City planners confirmed they have refused permission to Greener Families Ltd to develop its civic amenity and bring-site in an industrial estate off John F Connelly Rd, Churchfield.

The decision has been hailed as a victory for local residents who were staunchly opposed to the development of any more waste-related facilities in the industrial estate, which is close to housing estates, a soccer club, and shops.

Laura O’Connell, a spokesperson for the Northside Says No To The Dump campaign, said all involved were relieved and happy with the decision.

“This is a great outcome for the community and shows the power of a peoples’ campaign,” she said.

Greener Families is a sister company of Country Clean, which operates a waste transfer station in the industrial estate.

County Clean Recycling was fined €12,000 almost four years ago after pleading guilty to six breaches of the licence for the waste transfer station between May and August 2014.

The Environmental Protection Agency said infrastructural deficiencies and poor management resulted in the production of nuisance odours, which were likened to the smell of vomit.

The company has since invested over €3m in plant upgrades, including the replacement of the waste storage building with an air-tight building, the installation of fast-opening interlocking doors, the installation of a new air treatment unit to combat odours, and new weighbridges to allow trucks be weighed internally.

In the face of strong local opposition to the Greener Families’ project on an adjoining 0.882-hectare site, the firm met local residents last year to discuss plans for the proposed civic amenity facility.

It would have accepted a range of materials including dry recyclables, newspapers, glass, garden waste, timber, furniture, cardboard, scrap metal, and construction and demolition material including soil, stone, and concrete.

It argued the facility would provide a much-needed public amenity on the northside given that the only other city-based amenity centre is at Kinsale Rd on the southside.

Planning documents released last night show that planners said they had had regard to the zoning of the site for residential, local services, and institutional uses, and also noted the proximity of existing residential houses to the south and east.

They noted that lands located immediately north are zoned for future housing development, and they considered that the proposed use of the site as a civic amenity site “would be likely to impact detrimentally” on the amenities of both existing and future residential properties.

Local residents said they were especially pleased that planners also had regard to the extent of existing waste recycling facilities on the road.

“It is considered that the proposed use will result in an excessive concentration of such facilities in the immediate vicinity and that as such the proposed use would be likely to impact detrimentally on the amenities of the area and be contrary of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” said planners.

Ms O’Connell said they are prepared to continue their campaign if Greener Families appeals the decision.


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