August 1st, 2018
The High Court has set 12 February 2019 as the start date for a judicial review of An Bard Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for a controversial incinerator in Ringaskiddy.
Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE), had filed an application seeking leave for a judicial review of the planning authority’s decision, with the Central Office of the High Court, last month.
The High Court subsequently allowed legal action to be taken on the case July 24, with Chase’s solicitors serving the planning authority and developers of the proposed incinerator with court documents.
Earlier in May, the planning authority gave the green light to Indaver Ireland to build a €160 million waste-to-energy plant in Cork Harbour despite the recommendation of its own inspectors that permission should not be granted.
In a statement, CHASE said: “It is a pity, with all three of Bord Pleanála’s inspectors recommending refusal of the project, that we have to turn to the Court.
“But with the support of so many people in the Harbour area, we have a chance to test the legality of the Board decision and look forward to doing that at the trial.”
Indaver has been campaigning to build the multi-million euro waste-to-energy plant since 2001. This was the company’s third application to the board. The proposed incinerator will reportedly turn 240,000 tonnes of rubbish into 25 megawatts of electricity each year.
The board’s decision prompted an outcry from local residents, businesses and both local and national politicians, including such as Tánaiste Simon Coveney, TD. Minister Coveney has said that he was “disappointed” and “frustrated” by the board’s decision.
The Tánaiste has been under mounting pressure to overturn the board’s decision since the Dáil voted in favour of legislation that would grant new powers to the State to overturn planning permission for projects deemed a threat to national security.
The Defence Forces have previously voiced its objection to the proposed incinerator, arguing that it would prevent helicopters from using naval headquarters at Haulbowline.
In a statement, Indaver told The Green News that the company has fully addressed the Defence Forces’ concerns.
“The Department of Defence’s concerns about potential impact on operations at Haulbowline Naval Base were addressed comprehensively by Indaver during the Oral Hearing and in subsequent correspondence to An Bord Pleanála,” the statement reads.
“Indaver can confirm that modern, well run waste-to-energy facilities pose no health risk to the public. Indaver has been successfully operating a waste-to-energy facility in Duleek, Co. Meath since 2011 and has integrated well into the local community,” Indaver said.