October 24th, 2018
The High Court judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s (ABP) decision to grant planning permission for a controversial incinerator in Ringaskiddy has been postponed until March 2019 at the request of the planning authority.
The delay follows ABP’s failure in meeting the court’s deadline for filing its Statement of Opposition. The planning authority stated that the resignation of its Chair, Dr Mary Kelly, is the primary reason for failing to meet the court’s deadline.
Mary O’Leary, Chairperson of Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE), a citizen group bringing the case against ABP, said that her group has cooperated with the Court “at every turn of the process on time”.
CHASE filed an application seeking leave for a judicial review of the planning authority’s decision with the Central Office of the High Court in July. The High Court subsequently allowed legal action to be taken on the case on July 24.
Earlier in May, the planning authority gave the green light to Indaver Ireland to build a €160 million waste-to-energy plant in Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour despite the opposition of its own inspectors.
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.
Earlier in the summer, 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, prompting the public to call on the Tánaiste to revoke Indaver’s planning licence.
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.