ATTEMPTS by Indaver Ireland to lease part of the Bottlehill landfill site to bury ash from its proposed incinerator plant at Ringaskiddy could be blocked by councillors, a former County Mayor has said.
Indaver is one of two tenders that are being considered — the other is a windfarm — to take up a small portion of the idle Bottlehill site. Five proposals were considered in total with Cork County Council eager to recoup revenue from the landfill facility.
Up to €48m was spent turning the Bottlehill site — situated approximately halfway between Blarney and Mallow — into a municipal landfill, but it has been never been opened due to excess landfill sites around the country.
At a meeting in Carrigaline to discuss fundraising for a judicial review into An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for the incinerator facility in Ringaskiddy, local representatives were asked to do anything they could to block Indaver bringing the ash from the harbour to Bottlehill.
Cllr Seamus McGrath said any lease at Bottlehill would have to be passed by elected members but warned the council’s executive could be looking at ways to circumvent this.
“Cork County Council put out a tender last year looking for expressions of interest from potential users. Indaver submitted into that process and as far as I can see from the updates we’ve received the Council is considering that very closely,” he said.
“There were a number of other organisations submitting as well and the Council has whittled it down to two. One of those two is Indaver. They are due to take some sort of a lease on. That will require, to the best of my knowledge, approval at a full Council meeting.
"I will not be supporting that and I’m sure the other members won’t be either. The one hope I have is that it comes before the council because we all know where the executive stands on this. The leasehold will have to come before the Council unless the executive can come up with another mechanism. It isn’t progressing at this point in time and we haven’t had any update,” he added.
It was reported in 2016 that the County Council’s environment directorate had recommended that Indaver be given a lease to bury 40,000 tonnes of ash at Bottlehill per year.
A recent proposal brought forward by Fine Gael’s Gerard Murphy proposed to use part of the site to bury large proportions of the invasive knotweed plant.