THE European Commission has been asked to prevent Bord Pleanála allowing a company more time to make its case for the development of two major incinerators in Cork harbour.
CHASE (Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment) has lodged a complaint with the commission after the planning appeals board granted a further extension to Indaver to present its case for the development of toxic and municipal incinerators in Ringaskiddy.
CHASE spokeswoman Linda Fitzpatrick said they had submitted "that the perpetual granting of extensions in place of a decision constitutes unfair procedures".
An Bord Pleanála held a hearing into the development of the incinerators in April 2009.
CHASE contends that Bord Pleanála has postponed its decision on too many occasions since to allow Indaver time to provide extra information requested.
"Where material submitted by a developer is inadequate it should be ruled invalid and a decision issued on that basis," Ms Fitzpatrick said.
She said the group’s latest submission to the European Commission was in addition to an existing complaint it had made regarding Ireland’s inadequate compliance with Environmental Impact Assessment procedures, on the grounds that it constitutes a fundamentally unfair and illegitimate procedure.
"The neverending facilitation of the developer (Indaver) is in breach of Irish and European requirements for fair procedures, and so we have referred it to the European Commission which is currently considering our existing complaint. Indaver cannot legitimately be given open-ended opportunity to get their proposal right. Any competent company worth their salt would have a correct proposal in on day one, with minimal need for clarification," Ms Fitzpatrick said.
Indaver have been granted an extension until August 3 to submit further details on flooding and coastal erosion mitigation measures.
Indaver managing director John Ahern said it wasn’t his firm’s fault as Indaver was only complying with a request for a "considerable amount" of further information from Bord Pleanála.
"They (CHASE) are free to make a complaint, but this kind of thing takes time. That’s the process," Mr Ahern said.
This story appeared in the printed version
of the Irish Examiner Thursday, April 15, 2010.
Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment