Cork County Council backs revised incineration project
Oral hearing will see residents pitted against Indaver Ireland over Ringaskiddy yet again
In 2014, Indaver exported more than 180,000 tonnes of residual municipal solid waste from the Southern Waste Region. The company says reliance on export is not sustainable. File photograph: Getty Images
Senior officials at Cork County Council have declared revised proposals for a multi-million euro incineration project in the county to be acceptable for the area.
The report states the incineration project is in line with the County Development Plan.
The approval by the local authority has been met with opposition by local councillors, many of whom have been engaged in a decade-long battle with incineration company Indaver over the site.
Independent councillor Marcia D’Alton said she was amazed at the decision by Cork County Council to back the plan.
“The greatest part of the County Development Plan is focusing on what Cork Harbour can be. And a huge part of that is what it can be in regard to tourism. This is just diametrically opposed to what the plan says.”
Cllr Seamus McGrath of Fianna Fáil, who is opposed to the project, said an addendum would be added to the report and the objections of local councillors to the project would be duly noted by An Bord Pleanála.
Cork-based Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said nothing much has changed since Indaver’s last application.
“Sinn Féin remains opposed to incineration, which can cause air pollution, the emission of toxic fumes and the difficulties with dealing with Toxic Fly Ash left after Incineration.
“However, even leaving aside our opposition to the process generally, it is apparent that this site is unsuitable. Nothing has changed on that front since the last application.”
Harbour residents in Co Cork have reacted with dismay to plans by Indaver Ireland to lodge a fresh planning application for the site.
Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase) say they are “appalled” Indaver is ignoring concerns on human safety over the site’s proximity to the Maritime College in the event of an explosion or other incident.
Chase insists Indaver has exposed its “reckless approach to human safety and environmental sensitivity by applying once again on a site deemed too small, subject to coastal erosion, and prone to increasingly regular flooding”.
In June 2011, An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for Indaver’s €160 million twin-incinerator project at Ringaskiddy.
The board cited the site’s small size, inadequate road flood risk mitigation and inadequate coastal erosion mitigation as grounds for refusal, and said Indaver did not address these.
Indaver says the incinerator will generate approximately 18.5MW of electricity for export to the national electrical grid.
The company says recent changes to waste management and development plans show Ireland has an infrastructural gap and that the country needs to become more self-sufficient in managing waste and start treating waste as a resource.
In 2014, Indaver exported more than 180,000 tonnes of residual municipal solid waste from the Southern Waste Region. The company says reliance on export is not sustainable.