'Robust' An Bord Pleanala objection in pipeline over Irish Cement's Mungret plans

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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'Robust' An Bord Pleanala objection in pipeline over Irish Cement's Mungret plans

Around 1,000 people took part in a protest march at the weekend. Among them were John, Liam and Kate Brouder, Boher Picture: Gareth Williams

MEMBERS of Limerick Against Pollution (LAP) will meet this Thursday night to finalise a “robust” appeal against the council’s decision to grant Irish Cement planning permission.

The group set up in opposition to Irish Cement’s plans to utilise tyres and solid recovered waste in its cement production factory at Mungret were dismayed as council planners waved through the proposals.

Now, as expected, An Bord Pleanala will be asked to adjudicate on the proposals by Irish Cement to change its production process.

Tim Hourigan, the public relations officer for LAP, said: “Obviously, there are procedural issues in the information which was submitted by Irish Cement which may not have been looked at properly, or the information provided was insufficient to make a decision on.”

“There were a lot of objections to the council initially. So the council returned to Irish Cement with a series of questions. Irish Cement did write back, but what we’re saying is the information they provided is not good enough to make a decision on,” he explained.

Mr Hourigan pointed to air quality monitoring testing carried out by the company, saying he did not feel it was sufficient.

“They did it for two days. They put two monitoring stations out on its property. One was off to the north-east, the other to the south-west. But the wind is blowing to the north-west and south-east, nowhere near either of them. We pointed these things out to the council – how can you accept this as valid information,” he alleged.

Under planning law, only the 75 or so people who objected to Irish Cement’s initial planning application have the right to appeal to An Bord Pleanala.

To this end, LAP will be contacting every group and individual who objected to the plans to encourage them to appeal to An Bord Pleanala

Many of these objections had multiple names on them, coming from different housing estates.

It is likely An Bord Pleanala will not make a decision on the Irish Cement plans for a number of months. 

And anyone appealing the decision could request an oral hearing, which would lead to further delays.

After An Bord Pleanala makes its decision, the focus will then switch to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has the more crucial role of whether Irish Cement is given a licence to carry out its new proposals.

More than 2,000 groups and individuals have already sent objections to the EPA on this matter.

The council is also expected to enter the argument in the coming week, sending its own submission to the EPA now it has made a decision on Irish Cement’s plans.

It is likely that the EPA will wait until An Bord Pleanala has ruled on Irish Cement’s physical application before they make a decision.

LAP say they will do everything to block the €10m plans – even going to the High Court.

“We’re going all out on this,” said spokesperson Clare Keating.