Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan has called for a “root and branch” overhaul of the planning process in the wake of An Bórd Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission to Indaver for a major waste incinerator at Ringaskidy, Co. Cork.

Graphic showing the plume of air pollution blown by the prevailing wind (2015 study)

Cllr. Tynan said serious questions needed to be asked concerning the manner in which the decision was made by An Bórd Pleanála.  He believed that the planning process was utterly skewed in favour of developers and big business.

He said: “The whole way in which the Ringaskiddy planning decision was made was utterly biased. This is borne out by information in today’s Irish Examiner which confirms that the chairperson of Bórd Pleanála, Dr. Mary Kelly, excluded two board members from the process to allegedly avoid possible conflict of interest but it was left to another member who had a clear conflict of interest to recuse himself.”

Cllr Tynan said: “From the beginning this has been very much a David versus Goliath battle in which Indaver has availed of a war chest of some €20 million while the opponents of the incinerator have relied on small donations to fight their case.  When it comes down to it the Planning Process is not based purely on planning issues but on the ability of opposing sides to fund public relations campaigns and win strategic allies”, said Cllr. Tynan.

The Workers’ Party councillor said that this was not just an issue which concerned the residents of the Lower Harbour but could potentially affect people throughout Cork City and county and beyond.    “From the start there has been no consideration of the public interest.  Were it not for the valiant work of many voluntary campaigners this incinerator would have been built long ago. It is vital that this incinerator is not built and I would call on all the people of Cork to come in behind the activists of CHASE and other groups fighting to protect the environment and the health of our citizens”