Wednesday 12 December 2018

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Skibb residents to challenge factory?

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018 4:57pm

Locals in Skibbereen will meet next week to discuss a possible judicial review of a proposed plastics factory in the area.

Campaigners and residents are vowing to fight against the planned facility in Poundlick on the Baltimore Road, which was given the green light this week.

The 4,800 square metre thermoplastics facility was granted permission by An Bord Pleanála, which ruled against the recommendation of its own inspector and upheld a decision by Cork County Council to grant the project planning permission, rejecting an appeal lodged by locals back in January 2018.

The project has been met with fierce opposition from locals, who have raised concerns over environmental, health and traffic issues.

The Save Our Skibbereen group will hold a public meeting at 8pm next Thursday 13 December at the West Cork Hotel to gauge support for a possible judicial review of the project.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, group spokesperson Brendan McCormack said: “The location of this facility means that emissions would, 75 per cent of the time, be blown back into Skibbereen.”

The facility is being proposed by Daly Products Ltd, a subsidiary of the US-owned RTP Company.

The residents' campaign group has invited local councillors and TDs to attend next week’s meeting, and has also requested a statement from local representatives on whether they would support a judicial review.

Mr McCormack said the facility raised concerns over possible emissions into the nearby river, which is widely used by the local rowing club and by shellfish farmers, as well as potential traffic problems in the town.

“You’ll have six to 12 trucks coming through the town centre every day adding to traffic congestion,” he said.

“There are a lot of businesses concerned that this is going to harm food business and tourism. It’s the last thing you want associated with a town on the Atlantic Way.”

Sinn Féin County Cllr Paul Hayes said the project had initially been welcomed two years ago due to the promise of jobs for the area. However, he said that as details had become clearer, concerns had been raised.

Cllr Hayes said the company needed to take steps to reduce residents’ fears, and appealed for an independent environmental report into the project.

“Plastic is yesterday’s technology, and this is going to meet resistance from Skibbereen and beyond. It does seem to contradict all the work we’ve been doing on the Wild Atlantic way. If the company is genuine about bringing employment, I think it would be in their own best interests to have an independent environmental study done to try to allay the fears of the locals.”

Representatives from Daly Products Ltd declined to comment.

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