Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Plans for Kerry waste facility running into opposition

PLANS to build a new waste facility on a 12-acre site along the main Tralee/Killarney road are running into opposition.

Kerry Central Recycling Facility Ltd has lodged a planning application with Kerry County Council in respect of the site at Scart/Caherdean, about 3km on the Killarney side of Farranfore village.

Local residents last night attended an information meeting on the proposal.

Independent councillor Brendan Cronin, who represents the area, has already lodged an objection to the application. “I believe this site is totally unsuitable for any kind of waste facility,” he said.

Mr Cronin said the site was on the N22 national primary road and extra vehicle movement generated by its development would create a serious traffic hazard. “The site is just not right for many reasons. For instance, there are private houses within 80m and residential property in the wider area would be totally devalued.”

Pointing out that Kerry Airport was close to the site, he also claimed there would be aviation risk issues as birds were drawn to waste facilities.

Already, there have been extensive pre-planning discussions between the developers and council officials in relation to the site.

Planning is being sought for a materials recovery building, an office building and a public recycling centre. An application for a waste licence is being made to the Environment Protection Agency.

Consulting engineers Paudie O’Mahony and Associates, of Killarney, have already made a submission to the council seeking the rezoning of a site, midway between Tralee, Killarney and Castleisland, for modern waste recycling facilities.

In a submission to the draft county development plan 2009-2015, they said the site would be most suitable for the purpose, adding they had “positive responses” from meetings with council officials.

However, the council has recommended that there be no changing to the zoning in the area.

Irish Examiner


1 comment:

SKM said...

This development has two phases – the second phase on the eastern side of the current plans will double the size of the facility and will be used for converting waste into energy. This will mean incineration of materials which I understand may include tyres. The toxic fumes, gases and dust will be blown across farmland and into the air, all around a rural area in which people are living.

This facility is totally unacceptable in a rural area where there are farms used for dairy cows producing milk. Milk and it’s by-products should be fit for the production of dairy foods and baby foods and should be free from risk of harmful chemicals and other toxins.

There are also people living in homes literally a stones throw from this facility. The proposed entrance is on a secondary road on which, currently it is difficult to pass trucks and lorries.
A conservation area is adjacent to this proposed development and a wide area of tree plantation is going to be destroyed.

There is increased risk of flooding to nearby properties that are already frequently flooded and a risk to fish and spawning grounds.

I strongly object to these plans which are for premises which should be in an industrial park – not a rural area with homes and farmland on it’s doorstep.

The Consequences
If these plans are approved, the rural living environment will degenerate to that of a run down urban area with high traffic volume, pollution, noise and dust. There is a serious risk of water pollution and vermin which carry disease.

This facility is for recycling of all waste, both industrial and domestic. It includes effluent with all the risks of pollution and associated bacteria which can lead to water contamination and serious illness. The smells from the waste will draw rats. This facility should not be near residential homes – it should be in an industrial area.

There will be enormous impact on the quality of a rural environment. There will be passing refuse trucks, HGV’s carrying skips and all manner of refuse and effluent stored just a stones throw from private homes. People will be living beside what is effectively a rubbish tip. How can this possible be regarded as ethical or environmentally friendly.

Whilst I support recycling as part of the bigger issue of protecting the environment, the facility needs to be placed in an area which is not causing damage or deterioration to an area in which people and wildlife are living.

False Logic
It seems to be a false logic to destroy a beautiful area beside a river, amidst farm land and beside a conservation area in order to recycle waste in an effort to protect the environment. In effect, a very special piece of the Kerry environment is being destroyed to build a facility which processes waste.

It would make sense environmentally to use a piece of land that is not rural and not unspoiled and not depended upon for healthy milk, a clean living environment or that is home to natural wildlife.

Unacceptable outcomes – what are the answers ?
What will happen to natural wildlife ? Are they not an integral part of the environment that Green policies aim to protect ? What about the living environment of rural residents ? Why should rural residents be plunged into an urban like environment ? If we are trying to protect the environment then why spoil several acres of it ? Why not use an industrial area with no homes or conservation areas ?

Risks already proven
What about risks to the ground on which the grass grows that cows eat ? (We have all seen the fatal consequences of Merck Sharp and Dohm’s presence in a rural community and other similar catastrophes). Medications, prescribed drugs, household chemicals, solvents and cleaners all find their way into household waste. How will this affect both ground and surface water locally ?

Milk products, dairy products and baby foods should be completely free from risk of contamination or toxins. Having a plant of this nature in a rural area is putting farmland and the products from the land at serious risk. This is well proven in Ireland. Any chemicals, toxins or pollutants that enter the water or air have been shown to be fatal. The Irish Farmers Association are backing the residents and local farmers on these grounds.

Unequal Treatment
According to the Irish Constitution, every citizen is equal. This proposed development is forcing residents to dwell in homes beside a collection point for refuse, where there is pollution, noise, risk of disease and a significantly inferior environment than the one they chose to invest in. Why should residents suffer enormous financial loss and deterioration to the quality of their lives whilst Mr Murphy, Director of Kerry Central Recycling makes a fortune from his privately owned business and retreats to a part of the country miles away from waste and refuse.

Double Standards
Why does Mr Murphy not plan to live in the bungalow that is on this land (currently Michael Prendergast’s relatively new dormer bungalow) instead of planning to bulldoze it ? Is it not a healthy enough environment for him and his family ? Is bulldozing this home an environmentally friendly act or is it creating waste !?