PLANNING Permission has been granted for a controversial waste incinerator in Ringaskiddy.
An Bord Pleanála wrote to the applicants and opponents this morning informing them of their decision to grant permission for the development.
The decision follows years of applications and appeals as the development has faced huge opposition from residents in the local harbour.
The controversial €160m waste facility, to be built by Indaver, will process 240,000 tonnes of waste every year.
The latest planning application was lodged in January 2016 with an oral hearing taking place in April and May of that year. The ruling was initially expected in July 2016 but was delayed on numerous occasion.
It is the third time since 2001 that Indaver has applied to build an incinerator in Ringaskiddy.
Mary O'Leary of the CHASE group, who had fought a long battle against the incinerator plan, said she was shocked to find out the development this morning.
She said: "This is terrible - I am shocked. We had been absolutely hoping for an outright refusal."
She said CHASE will be meeting with their legal team to discuss the possibility of seeking a judicial review of the An Bord Pleanála decision.
Cork’s Green Party also objected to the incinerator and said they are disappointed by the decision.
Speaking this morning the party's representative in Cork South Central, Lorna Bogue, said:"I am extremely disappointed in this decision by An Bórd Pleanála.
“They were provided with several strong environmental reasons as to why this facility was not suited to this site.
"In my own submission, I highlighted the fact that Ireland does not, in fact, produce enough waste to keep this incinerator open.” Independent county councillor Marcia D'Alton said: "I am absolutely devastated. We have been 17 years fighting this."
"It is a very, very sad morning. Since we began fighting this 17 years ago, Spike Island has become one of the most recognised tourist attractions in the world - it is just 750 metres away from the planned incinerator. What does this mean for Spike?
"An Bord Pleanála has made a very wrong decision."