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Irish Examiner - 28/12/04
Bórd Pleanála should take a geography lesson

RINGASKIDDY is not a backyard, it is a gateway. And it is no ordinary gateway because it opens onto the ocean.

The experts in Cork County Hall refused planning permission to Indaver for, as I understand it, geographical - not toxicological - reasons.

After all, Ringaskiddy is a deep-water port zoned for port-related development in the county development plan.

The County Hall planners (and the county development plan itself) respected this simple geography when they refused Indaver’s inappropriate proposal for such a strategically valuable location.

Basic strategic thinking required the planners to ensure the port area be retained for future port-related development. Having done Inter Cert geography I know enough to be able to understand the wisdom of their decision.

Indaver appealed this sensible judgement to An Bórd Pleanála and, incredibly, the board granted them planning permission - something which required the appeals board itself to “materially contravene” the county development plan. Cork is blessed with the world’s second-largest natural harbour - a cornerstone of Ireland’s prosperity. Unlike Sydney harbour, the world’s biggest, Cork harbour is located at a crucially strategic point on shipping routes between Europe and the US.
Someone with even Inter Cert geography could confidently predict great opportunities for Cork harbour. The zoning and development of Ringaskiddy as a deep-water port seeks to encourage such realistic optimism.

Regrettably, the wrong developments now being permitted by An Bórd Pleanála will constitute a major impediment to the future prosperity of the people of Cork.

What on earth were the members of An Bórd Pleanála doing during their Inter Cert geography lessons all those years ago?

Stan Reynolds
The Old Schoolhouse
Toames West
Macroom
Co Cork

     

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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