MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT – Local Elections : May 24th, 2019
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MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT – Local Elections : May 24th, 2019

posted in: Environment, Skibbereen | 0

Save Our Skibbereen is currently seeking a Judicial Review of the planning permission granted to RTP Company for their 5000M² Thermoplastic Factory at Poundlick, Skibbereen. This development cannot go ahead while this legal process is ongoing.
An Bord Pleanála’s Inspector recommended refusing permission and made the following observations before his final conclusion :
1. The absence of specific information on potential pollutants, a baseline survey of existing air quality, and modelling of the impact of the proposal is highly unsatisfactory.
2. I conclude that the applicant has failed to demonstrate that the noise and emissions affecting air quality that would be generated by the operational proposal would be compatible with the residential amenities in the area.
3. The absence of specific information on potential air pollutants and a relevant assessment of the same precludes the applicant from demonstrating that public health would be safeguarded.

4. Based on the submitted information, particularly with respect to noise and air quality, the applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposal would be compatible with these amenities and the wider public health of those residing in the area and so, in these circumstances, it would be premature for the Board to conclude that the proposed use constitutes a light industrial use.
5. To grant permission would be to risk a contravention of the said Local Area Plan, serious injury to the amenities of residential property in the vicinity of the site, and the jeopardising of public health.
6. The proposal would therefore be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
7. I, therefore, recommend that the proposal be refused.

Public health should be a concern for all candidates in the upcoming local elections. That it is being put at risk should be cause for concern. That Save Our Skibbereen has to go to the courts to seek the over turning of the planning permission is because Cork County Council and An Bord Pleanala have failed in their duty.

Alongside the public health risk, there are other risks to the existing jobs in Skibbereen and West Cork. At a time when many businesses are engaged in meetings, conversations and workshops in developing the tourism brand here, this development goes against all the marketing & branding of Skibbereen and West Cork as a place to visit, as a place that is the origin of high quality foods and drinks, and is a place where our environment can be experienced and enjoyed.
This development will do untold damage to all these sectors.

To date, we have had support from the following candidates who have come to our meetings, engaged in conversations and sought their own understanding of what this Plastic Factory could bring to Skibbereen and West Cork.
Cllr Paul Hayes – Sinn Fein – Skibbereen
Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan – Fianna Fail – Skibbereen
Cllr Danny Collins – IND – Bantry
Holly McKeever Cairns – Social Democrat – SocDems – Bantry
Evie Nevin Social Democrat – SocDems – Skibbereen

All other candidates have expressed no interest in our campaign or have lobbied on behalf of RTP Company privately and/or publicly.
To choose silence on this issue is to choose the side of RTP Company over public health.
To not even engage with our campaign, which is supported throughout Skibbereen and West Cork, leaves us lost for words.
Public bodies, who exist to serve the public, must be held responsible when they cease to uphold this most basic of their responsibilities. Otherwise our system of democracy becomes but a vehicle for the profit of the few at the great cost of the many.
That this is of no concern to the majority of candidates in the upcoming elections is not just deeply disappointing, it is deeply threatening to the future well being of everyone who lives in Skibbereen, West Cork and beyond.

What is of importance to these candidates?
Is the health of our children not important?
Is public health not important?
Is the future of our tourism industry not important?
Is our food industry not important?
Are our waterways, marine life and Wild Atlantic Way not important?
Is the strategic direction of the development of Skibbereen and West Cork not important?
Is a Plastic Company more important?

We hope you contact all candidates and ask these questions. Democracy becomes a process we can all take part in during the elections. Make sure your vote counts.
It is what every candidate will be seeking.
Do not give it away lightly.

Many people in Skibbereen have been told falsehoods about this factory. To this day, people are still spreading rumours about the nature of this factory and pretending it is some recycling plant or that the emissions are less than those coming from a car.

An Bord Pleanála’s Inspector saw through all this nonsense. This is a dangerous development. Have no doubt about that.