No to the plastics factory in Skibbereen!
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We the undersigned are opposed to the granting of planning permission - Reference Number 17/192 by Cork County Council for the development of a Thermoplastics facility at Poundlick, Skibbereen, Co. Cork.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
[Planning permission was granted for a plastics factory to be built in Poundlick, Skibbereen on December 19, 2017. Despite little information being given to the public throughout the rezoning and planning permission process, the public - which includes those living directly within the vicinity of the site as well as residents within town - have expressed both formally (through submissions) and informally (through public meetings) a number of concerns and objections to the factory. These concerns have been largely left unaddressed and it is for this reason that we demand the halting of the factory's development and the appeal of planning permission for the project.
For one, we are concerned about the overall lack of accessible information given to us surrounding the project. Land was rezoned in Poundlick, Skibbereen in April 2016 from "Town Greenbelt" to "Business Use," in order to allow the factory to be built. The rezoning occurred following an inadequate public consultation process, which consisted of one advertisement on p. 33 of the Irish Examiner print edition on February 10, 2016. While this one ad formally commenced the public consultation process, this does not constitute as clear, adequate, or accessible notification. Given that not a single submission was made by a resident of Skibbereen in response to the land rezoning, it is evident that the residents of Skibbereen did not access this information, which is understandable given its singular and obscure location. We should also be able to rely on our elected representatives to communicate such vital information to us in a widely accessible manner.
Similarly, those living in the vicinity of the site were only informed that planning permission was sought after PLANNING notices went up at access points to the site. Again, this is an inadequate format for disseminating information, which has severely stunted the public consultation and engagement process on this matter, and means that our informed consent cannot be given.
In addition to the poor process of public consultation and notification, our concerns circulate around our health; the environment (no Environmental Impact Assessment has been undertaken and nor has the County Council requested this!); our property value; the traffic that will result; the amount of topsoil that will be removed; the rezoning of land for industry amidst a housing shortage; the lack of consultation with a retirement home in the vicinity. A plastics factory was sued in Athlone in 2005 following a number of health hazards it created within the community, and should such a case be necessary in Skibbereen, this will come at great financial and time cost to our town's residents.]
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