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Incinerator ‘would materially contravene development plan’

By John Murphy

THE most dramatic moment on the 12th day of the Indaver hearing came when a planning consultant for the applicant company acknowledged there would be a material contravention of the 2002 Cork County Development Plan if the project goes ahead.

Dr Brian Meehan gave a robust defence of the suitability of the proposed location for the incinerator during yesterday’s session at the Rochestown Park Hotel, but, in response to questions from Philip Jones who is conducting the hearing, Dr Meehan accepted that there is no specific mention of contract incineration in the 2002 County Development Plan.

“Yes,” he added, “I could only agree that contract incineration is in conflict with the plan.”

Dr Meehan, however, said it is his contention that the development plan does anticipate a waste disposal plant for the chemical and pharmaceutical interests in Cork harbour.

He also said that Cork county councillors had deliberately sought to ban contract incinerations from the plan which he contended was against the national policy on waste incineration.

Earlier Dr Meehan told the hearing that most of the raw material for the incinerator facility would come from the Cork harbour area.

Responding to further questions suggesting that 12 to 15 miles of the access road to the site are very narrow and unsuitable for that type of facility, Dr Meehan said that traffic would be an impact “but not significantly so”. “The development will be on a site zoned for large scale industry, and is therefore a suitable location for it.”

Frank O’Mahony, an architect for Indaver Ireland, said that a key issue in the design of the incinerator plant at Ringaskiddy has been to maximise integration into the surrounding landscape and to minimise the visual impact of it.

Mr O’Mahony disclosed that 10,000 trees will be planted on the site on completion of an elaborate landscaping scheme. “The build nonetheless will have an impact, but I would consider that to be inevitable, given the industrial zoning of the site.”

Indaver Ireland general manager John Ahern told the hearing that in 2001 his company had exported a total of 24,646 tonnes of hazardous waste for incineration. That, he said, was more than 53% of the total amount of hazardous waste exported from the whole country that same year.

Mr Ahern also disclosed that in 201 the total amount of hazardous waste generated in Cork and exported by his company was 14,877 tonnes. “Cork,” he added, “has an industrial waste problem, and there are adequate ways to fill our proposed facility at Ringaskiddy several times over.”
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