CREE based Clean Ireland Recycling have made an appeal to An Bord Pleanála following a decision by Clare County Council to grant planning permission to Emerald Waste Company for a Pay To Use (PTU) waste compactor at Texaco Service Station in Shannon.
In its submission to the authority it states, “Clare County Council’s decision to allow this PTU to operate without a pay by weight mechanism, without provision of a brown bin, without a system to track customers (eg smartcards) and without a customer charter will negatively impact on the DECLG’s (Department of Environment, Community and Local Government) attempts to regulate PTUs. We expect that An Bord Pleanála will have access to the new regulations prior to making a final decision on this application and will be better placed to see the potential impact of a decision to allow this development to proceed as per the applicant’s proposal.”
They also raised concerns about the potential safety impact of the development. “The decision by Clare County Council to allow development of a PTU at the petrol station in Shannon has not fully addressed our concern over the fire risk posed by the development. We respectfully suggest that the planning permission should have placed a condition that the fire certificate for the petrol station by reviewed and revised based on the addition of this potential uncontrolled hazard.
“The planner that made the decision may not have the appropriate expertise to decide on the appropriate buffer distance between the PTU and the hazardous areas of the petrol station and we respectfully suggest that this is too serious a risk to address so lightly.
“It is important to note that the Chief Fire Officer for Clare County Council (Adrian Kelly) in correspondence with the Planner suggested that further information be requested as follows: ‘A fire safety risk assessment shall be carried out to assess the following: 1 The risk of fire spread between these units and the adjoining buildings. 2 The separation distance between these units and the hazardous areas of the petrol station.’
“Clearly the Chief Fire Officer is best qualified to make this call and the decision by the Planner to ignore this advice is surprising and is surely not in the best interests of public safety. We ask that An Bord Pleanála considers the implications of ignoring such advice.”
The appeal disputes a view that the development would offer a technological advance. “The planner’s report suggests that allowing this development is consistent with CDP 9.3 of the County Development Plan in that it is an example of a new alternative and a technical advancement in waste management. We respectfully suggest that this is an incorrect analysis.
“The proposed PTU in Shannon is offered as an alternative to kerbside household waste collection in the locality. The kerbside collection offered by Clean Ireland Recycling is a three bin system using multi compartmental vehicles with an on-board weighing system and a pricing structure that encourages waste prevention and waste segregation. That is clearly a significant technical advancement on historic waste collection in the area and is consistent with existing waste collection policy as detailed in our national waste policy as expressed in A Resource Opportunity-July 2012, DECLG.
“The applicant proposes to install a compactor for residual waste and a skip for recyclable waste (lower capacity as no compaction provided), with no brown bin, no weighing system and no incentivisation to encourage source segregation of wastes. The company normally charges €3 per bag for residual waste and €4 per bag for recyclables”.
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.