An Bord Pleanala has approved planning permission for a plastics factory in West Cork.
Residents who appealed a Cork County Council decision to grant planning for a 4,800 sq/km thermoplastics facility in Skibbereen today received confirmation from An Bord Pleanala their appeal had been rejected.
A spokesperson advised appellants conditions would be attached to the decision.
A total of 39 residents had, in January last, appealed the council’s decision and had formed a campaign group called Save Our Skibbereen (SOS).
An Bord Pleanala have ruled in favour of granting permission to the RTP Thermoplastic Compunds Facility at Poundlick, Skibbereen. They have gone against the advice of their own inspectors who recommended that permission not be granted.
SOS are fully prepared to request a Judicial Review of this planning application and we are currently working with our legal team in preparing our case.
We will be holding an Emergency Public Meeting at The West Cork Hotel on Thursday, December 13th, at 8pm.
We will be outlining our campaign strategy to have this decision overturned. We invite everyone in Skibbereen, West Cork and beyond to come to the meeting. We will be giving short presentations on where we are and we will be inviting questions and debate and your support in the coming months.
We expected this day and have prepared accordingly.
See you on December 13th at The West Cork Hotel.
We will be publishing the full decision and reports from An Bord Pleanála once they have been made available.
At 11.50pm on Saturday 27th, a fire broke out at the RTP Company Plastic Factory in Beaune, France. Thankfully there were no casualties reported. The fire was difficult to fight and required the use of specialist foam cannons to put out due to the large amount of plastic that is kept onsite at RTP factories. Nearly 1000 sq metres of the plant was destroyed.
Significant resources were mobilized, including 50 firefighters, 5 fire-brigade engines and two fire ladders. A mobile command post had to be established to coordinate what was a long and dangerous 10 hour operation. Firefighters from the centers of Beaune, Meursault, Deux-Cotes, Seurre, Transvaal, Dijon Nord, Dijon East and Nuits-Saint-Georges were sent on this large-scale intervention.
Luckily, this factory is located beside one of France’s main motorways, the A6. Beaune is a small town, larger than Skibbereen, without it’s own resources to deal with this fire. Fire engines had to travel between 160KM and 15KM to get to the scene from surrounding towns.
At the start of our campaign, we were told by a local Councillor that a fire like this could never happen in Skibbereen. Our research has shown that fires at plastic factories are more common than you would think. The manufacturer of the production equipment that will be used at the proposed factory in Skibbereen warns constantly about the dangers involved in the thermoplastic production process. Due to the creation of clouds of toxic dust which are highly explosive and inflammable, fires like this are all too common around the world.
See video below for footage of fire at RTP, Beaune, taken by passerby in the early hours of Sunday, October 28th, 2018.
We have written about these dangers and repeat here again the most important points.
The greatest concerns for Emergency Responders, in particular Firefighters is the burning of plastics. Plastic fire flames spread at 2 feet per second which is 10 times faster than dry wood. Firefighters have to wear self contained breathing apparatus (S.C.B.A.s) as many of these highly toxic fumes are invisible even after the smoke and smell has cleared. When fires occur in these factories, burning Polyethylene melts. This smells like wax and produces dripping melting flaming material that spreads the fire more rapidly than in a typical industrial unit.
The Skibbereen plastics factory application does not currently include fire suppression measures (like using steel shutters and CO2) to prevent the spread of fire!! This system is in use in the likes of Irish Distillers.
The evacuation of residents locally and the Nursing Home and Retirement Village is a major concern as many of the residents at the home already have breathing difficulties and some are on oxygen, which is highly flammable.
As per the manufacturer of the processing equipment that will be used in this factory, the process is highly flammable, highly combustible and highly dangerous. In the UK alone, there are 6-10 Plastic Factory fires per year.
A huge problem is the amount of dust that is produced and this dust isn’t harmless!
Daly Products Limited consultants say that they will use a Vario Dry Separator.
“An explosive environment can be created depending on the character and composition of dusts” / “as many dusts are combustible and explosive“. – Keller Lufttechnik – Manufacturer of the Vario Dry Separator.
The above factors with dust, solvents, high temperatures make a plastics factory a dangerous environment to work in or live near, not to mention the emissions that the chimneys disperse.
If you have been assured by Daly Products Limited or any local Councillor, think again and look at this closely.
Is West Cork a suitable location for such a development?
Is it equipped to deal with a major Plastic Factory fire?
Who will pay for the damage to the environment caused by the run-off of waters after such a fire?
Who will pay for the evacuation of local residents and residents at the local nursing home and retirement village?
Emissions from the smoke when such a catastrophe occurs have dire consequences.
The air born pollutants of a fire from a Polymer Compounding Factory are a serious health hazard.
These pollutants include :
Heavy Metals, Dioxins, Furans and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Alicia is a film-maker who lives in Baltimore, West Cork and is seeking to draw on the support of the Irish community in the UK, Europe and the world at large, to bring international attention to our campaign and the wider issues involved.
Avaaz is a U.S.-based online site launched in January 2007 that promotes global activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, animal rights, corruption, poverty, and conflict. The Guardian newspaper considers it “the globe’s largest and most powerful online activist network”.
Within hours of the launch on November 26th, 2018, the petition has already attracted almost 1000 signatures and no doubt will gather many thousands more over the coming days and weeks. As we wait on An Bord Pleanála to make their decision on the appeal against the planning permission for this development, this petition brings much needed attention and publicity to the campaign and highlights the demand in the world today for tougher planning laws regarding industrial developments in Ireland.
We would ask everyone to sign the petition and to share and distribute it to as many people as possible. Our experience so far is that publicity and public support do much more to shift the attitude of politicians than anything else.
It takes less than a minute but can change the future of Skibbereen and West Cork for decades to come – click the link below to go to the petition site :