The community group opposed to the building of an incinerator in Cork Harbour has claimed the application is invalid, due to a string of issues, including errors over the company name of the applicant, Indaver Ireland.
The An Bord Pleanala oral hearing into the proposal to construct the €160m incinerator, in Ringaskiddy, in Co Cork, heard claims that the Bord should terminate the process, as it was an “invalid application”.
Solicitor Joe Noonan, for Chase (Cork Harbour Area for a Safe Environment) outlined to senior planning inspector Derek Daly how both Indaver Ireland and Indaver Ireland Ltd had been used in different aspects of the process.
He said a letter written by the applicant to An Bord Pleanala on February 3 referred to a clerical error in the application form, in which the name Indaver Ireland Ltd was used. Indaver Ireland was the name used in public notices.
Mr Noonan said the Companies Registration Office had details for Indaver Ireland, which had one company registration number, and for Indaver NV, listed as a Belgian company, with another registration number.
The Irish Registry of Business Names listed the company’s name as Indaver Ireland, and as being owned by Indaver NV.
“A business name is not a legal entity,” Mr Noonan said. “And so it has no legal capacity.”
He said a company was a legal entity and did have legal capacity, and Indaver Ireland was listed as the owner of the lands in question with the Land Registry.
“Indaver Ireland is a business name and not a legal person,” he said. “An applicant for [planning] permission must be a legal entity.
“Indaver Ireland is not a legal person and cannot make the application. There is, therefore, no valid planning application before the Bord.”
He said Chase was asking that the Bord terminate the process and reserved its position as the hearing continued.
He referred to evidence heard in the first oral hearing, in 2003, which he said cast doubt on the site suitability, referring to its proximity to a high-density population area, its peninsula location, and road access.
Mr Noonan also referred to what he claimed were Indaver’s “numerous errors and inaccuracies”, at a time when the company’s proposal was under the public spotlight.
He also said the Southern Region Waste Management Office “neither assesses, nor verifies what it has been told” regarding aspects of the site, claiming one such area was the assertion that the site was not liable to flooding.
Mr Noonan also pointed out that the licence granted by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), in 2005, to the applicant, had expired last January. Later, Indaver Ireland said that the applicant was Indaver Ireland, as outlined in the public notice.
Earlier, Peter O’Donoghue, a senior engineer in Cork County Council’s traffic section, said no HGV traffic would be allowed access to the site, during construction or operation of the facility, from the R613, as it was not suitable. Access would be via the main Ringaskiddy road, the N28.
It is proposed that the road be upgraded, with a planning application likely as early as the third quarter of this year, but Mr O’Donoghue said the preferred option, in the event of the incinerator going ahead, was for the Council to have powers to monitor and control traffic-flow to and from the site, under a mobility management plan.
Such a plan has not operated in Co Cork before, but Mr O’Donoghue said limitations would mean no HGV traffic on the road at peak times. This would prevent problems on approach roads, such as the Jack Lynch Tunnel.
SC for Indaver, Rory Mulcahy, said the company would be happy to adhere to such a plan and said there would be no access between 8pm and 6am at the facility.
Mr O’Donoghue said it would need to be “explicitly written” that the council could have flexibility to respond if other traffic issues arose, such as any difficulties at school collection times in Shanbally village, on the N28.
Mr Daly said the recent explosion at an Indaver facility in Antwerp would be referenced in the hearing, in the context of safety.
The hearing continues today.
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