Proposed Ringaskiddy incinerator will cause traffic ‘chaos’

Oral hearing into Cork Harbour project told ash arising from plant ‘non-hazardous’

An artist’s impression of the proposed waste-to-energy facility which Indaver is seeking to build at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour.

An artist’s impression of the proposed waste-to-energy facility which Indaver is seeking to build at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour.

 

Plans to build a €160 million incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour will lead to traffic chaos because of the increase in the number of heavy good vehicles (HGV), an oral hearing on the proposal has heard.

Residents and members of Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) say local schools would be adversely impacted by noise and traffic issues arising from the development.

Gertie O’Driscoll, of the Ringaskiddy Residents Association, said the town was without adequate pedestrian crossings at present and the traffic situation would be further aggravated by an increase in HGV’s on the road.

“I live in Ringaskiddy village and there is no pedestrianised crossing. The children have to run out to the centre of the road through traffic and then when the traffic dies down they run to the other side,” she said.

Mark Elms, a resident of Monkstown, told the hearing at the Carrigaline Court Hotel it was a quintessential “cart before the horse” development in terms of a lack of proper road infrastructure.

“It will cause chaos and absolute mayhem. I would suggest that the applicants postpone their application until after the roads infrastructure is addressed,” he said.

Traffic plan

Peter O’Donoghue, a senior engineer with Cork County Council, accepted there were concerns about HGV’s going through the village at school times.

He said there were plans for a council mobility management plan to monitor and control traffic from the project. He would be proposing a similar type of methodology in traffic management that is being used for the Port of Cork.

Mr O’Donoghue said suggestions the local authority would not have the resources for such a plan were incorrect.

Chris Ramsden, of CHASE, said he was concerned about bottom ash potentially going to landfill in Bottlehill.

Jane Hennessy, of Indaver Ireland which is seeking to build the incinerator, said there was no indication that bottom ash is a hazardous substance.

“We did testing in the first five months of the (Meath incineration) operation. And there has been relevant testing since. And the EPA has concluded that there was a statistical consistency. And it has been concluded that it is non-hazardous material,” she said.

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 say the incinerator will generate approximately 18.5MW of electricity for export to the national electrical grid.