Little Island community groups to appeal plans for new recycling plant 

Little Island community groups to appeal plans for new recycling plant 

Country Clean Recycling Unlimited Company was granted permission to build a waste transfer and recycling facility in Courtstown Industrial Estate in Little Island, with 33 conditions.

THE Little Island Business Association and the Little Island Community Association are planning on appealing to An Bord Pleanála about a recycling plant that has received conditional planning permission from Cork County Council.

Country Clean Recycling Unlimited Company was granted permission to build a waste transfer and recycling facility in Courtstown Industrial Estate in Little Island, with 33 conditions.

Local residents and business owners are opposed to the facility, as they claim it is “not suitable” for the area. Michael Mulcahy of the Little Island Business Association says that the Community Association will lodge the appeal and the Business Association will support them fully.

“A full appeal will be submitted,” he said. “We believe this type of facility is not suitable for this area, based on the choice of site.”

“The proposed opening times of six days a week from 5am to 8pm, when the site is pretty adjacent to residential homes, will affect quality of life,” he said. “Food industries are very close to the site, including Ballymaloe.

“Residents and businesses are adamant we do not want this for our area. It’s not because it is a waste plant, waste has to go somewhere and we are all producing more waste.

“We believe the County Council should be opening their Bottlehill facility. This is a suitable place which has been closed for years.”

Mr Mulcahy also noted that Country Clean’s site in Churchfield was fined by the EPA in 2015. He says this is another concern for those opposing the site.

The waste company was fined €12,000 for breaches of their licence between May and August 2014. Country Clean pleaded guilty and fully cooperated with the EPA to rectify the issues, most of which were related to odour complaints.

A senior executive of Country Clean, Denis Murphy, has moved to allay fears over the proposed recycling facility.

“Yes, we had breaches in our old facility, but in 2015 Country Clean built a brand new airtight building and has invested over €3 million in this state of the art facility in Churchfield.

“[The proposed Little Island plant] will be built to the highest standards and comes with stringent and strict environmental and health and safety rules that will be governed by the EPA.”

When asked about the potential to use the Bottlehill site, which was first floated as an idea in 2014, Mr Murphy said the industry would like to see this happen.

“Country Clean entered a tendering process with Cork County Council for various uses for Bottlehill, other contractors also entered that same tendering process, and none were successful.

“There is a critical need for more waste and recycling infrastructure in Cork County and City to cater for the ever-growing waste and recycling material being generated by the region." 

Mr Murphy said that the company would like to thank everyone who gave feedback during the process.

“If anyone would like to receive more information or has any questions on our plans under the planning permission, please don’t hesitate to contact our Head Environmental and Health and Safety Officer, Flor Crowley, on environmental@countryclean.ie.”

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