A legal challenge against the granting of planning permission to a proposed controversial €160million incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour opened at the High Court today.
Mr Justice David Barniville was told planning permission was granted in May last year, but the Board planning inspector had recommended refusal.
Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) has brought the judicial review proceedings challenging the granting of planning permission in May last year by An Bord Pleanala for the incinerator.
Opening the case Maurice Collins SC for CHASE said there has been "a continuum of planning activity and controversy" connected to the site. He said that the inspector had recommended refusal of planning permission but An BordPleanala had granted the permission by a five to two majority.
“We know very little of how it reached a decision in this case," he told the court.
Counsel said a large proportion of the local population is opposed to the incinerator and believe it poses a significant health threat to the community.
Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) in the proceedings are seeking an order quashing the decision on May 28,2018 to grant planning permission. It is also seeking an order quashing the environmental impact assessment carried out by the Bord on May 23, 2018. It also seeks a declaration that An Bord Pleanala erred in law and had no jurisdiction to grant planning permission.
It is also seeking a declaration that the Bord erred in law by allegedly failing to carry out any or any legally adequate Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) or appropriate assessment prior to the decision to grant development consent and that there was an alleged failure to carry out an assessment of the impact on health and an alleged failure to carry out any adequate EIA in respect of the fundamental issue of site selection.
An Bord Pleanála in May last year granted planning permission for the €160 million municipal and hazardous waste incinerator at Ringaskkiddy in Cork Harbour.
The Board granted planning permission under the Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 to Indaver Ireland for an incinerator at a 13.5-hectare site at the end of the Ringaskiddy Peninsula. The incinerator will have an operational life of 30 years.
Indaver lodged a planning application on January 13th 2016 and since then An Bord Pleanála deferred its decision nine times.
The permission was granted with a number of conditions, including that the eight-storey facility, with a 70-metre chimney, would take no more than 240,000 tonnes of municipal waste and no more than 24,000 tonnes of hazardous waste each year.
Indaver Ireland Ltd and Indaver NV trading as Indaver Ireland are notice parties to the High Court proceedings.
Chairperson of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment, environmental scientist Mary OLeary in an affidavit to the court said the Inspector had concluded the site was not suitable from a planning perspective and was expressing a similar conclusion to that reached by two senior inspectors who had previously considered planning applications in 2001 and 2008.
The case before Mr Justice David Barniville continues.