THE PLASTICS factory proposed for Skibbereen is ‘over-sized and out of scale’ according to a group who are set to appeal a planning decision made by Cork County Council.
Brendan McCarthy, who convened a public meeting at the West Cork Hotel last Thursday night, said: ‘Most people in the town are not aware that the new 4,800sqm proposed plant – Daly Products Ltd – will have two 13m-high production units with 4m chimneys, divided by a two-storey laboratory and office block, on the site at Poundlick on the Baltimore Road.’
He added: ‘Our appeal to An Bord Pleanála would challenge the fact that the planning authority didn’t take into consideration many of the points made in the 39 planning submissions, most of which expressed concerns about emissions and the disposal of water from the factory into the town’s wastewater treatment system.’
He said the local authority ‘did not request an Environmental Impact Study about these two significant environmental issues and the affect that it could have on the town’s air quality and water treatment system.’
‘At the very least,’ he said, ‘we hope that An Bord Pleanála, which has the authority to attach further planning conditions, will insist on an Environmental Impact Study.
Traffic is also a major concern, and speakers at the meeting asked why an industry would be located on a site that has to be accessed by heavy goods vehicles via some of the town’s narrowest streets, such as North Street.
Brendan McCarthy confirmed that the group has engaged a consultant to prepare the appeal and he said it will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála before the January 24th deadline.
As part of their appeal, they will question the validity of the rezoning process, which saw the site change from agricultural to business usage.
‘Business by definition involves warehousing and car showrooms,’ said Mr McCarthy, ‘not an industrial production facility that involves changing one form of plastic into another form of plastic.’
Mr McCarthy said: ‘Surely it makes more sense to locate such a facility as close as possible to the point of entry into Ireland because the plastic pellets will be coming in from abroad and the finished pellet product will be sent to facilities inside and outside of the country. We believe Daly Products Ltd should be located where there is better transport infrastructure and a better road network serving the site.’