The Cork county manager is asking councillors to facilitate planning permission for a €95 million toxic waste incinerator in Ringaskiddy
Mr Maurice Moloney announced that council officials would seek a material contravention of the County Development Plan to allow an incinerator to be built. If 75 per cent of Cork councillors vote in favour of the contravention next month it will pave the way for planning permission for the project to be granted. Under the existing County Development Plan, there is no provision for an incineration facility to be constructed in Ringaskiddy. The plan designates the town for port-related industries and major water uses. The company behind the Ringaskiddy project, Indaver Ireland, recently got the green light from Bord Pleanála for an €80 million domestic waste incinerator in Co Meath. The Ringaskiddy project has attracted controversy, with politicians from all sides voicing their opposition. The Mayor of Co Cork, Cllr Paula Desmond (Lab), says she finds it difficult to accept that the area needs a development of this magnitude. Cork Fianna Fáil TD, Mr Batt O'Keeffe, claims the project will lead to hazardous waste being brought in from outside Cork. "Several local pharmaceutical plants already have their own toxic waste incinerators and they are planning more. There won't be a need for a large facility on the lines proposed by Indaver. It is unfair to Ringaskiddy residents. We will end up bringing hazardous waste from outside the Cork area." Mr Sean Cronin of Cork Harbour Area for a Safe Environment (CHASE) said residents of Ringaskiddy felt abandoned by Cork County Council. He says the existing development plan does not allow for the building of an incinerator. "The council just want to go ahead and do this. But people have until April 17th to make a submission opposing the project and then we will have the councillors' vote next month. But I think they will object to the contravention. There won't be a 75 per cent Yes vote." A spokeswoman for Indaver Ireland said the planned incinerator was fully in accordance with the National Hazardous Waste Management Plan for Ireland. "An EPA study indicated that Cork produces 60 per cent of the hazardous waste generated in Ireland. A thermal treatment disposal facility for the management of hazardous waste currently exported for disposal is required if Ireland is to become self-sufficient in hazardous waste management." Indaver claims the project in Cork would provide employment for 320 people during construction and 60 when operational. Over 20,000 residents of Ringaskiddy and surrounding areas have signed a petition voicing their concern about the development. The public have until April 17th to lodge objections to the project to Cork County Council. Councillors will vote on the contravention in early May. Olivia Kelleher © The Irish Times
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