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Locals won't stop fight against Clasheen plant

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The Roadstone site in Clasheen

The Roadstone site in Clasheen

The Roadstone site in Clasheen

kerryman

Locals vow to appeal against Kerry County Council's decision to approve an Air Emissions Licence for a Roadstone Limited asphalt plant in Clasheen.

Minish resident Dave Murphy, one of several locals vehemently opposed to the application, told The Kerryman of his deep disappointment at the decision. KCC approved the application on May 18, and appeals must be lodged with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within a month from that date.

The plant at Clasheen will supply asphalt for use in road surfacing works locally.

"The licence includes a series of conditions covering various aspects of the operation of the proposed plant, monitoring of emissions, etcetera," a Council spokesperson said this week. "The licence is broadly in keeping with the proposal as submitted with the application, however, there are some slight changes in certain areas."

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The Kerryman has requested a breakdown of what these changes entail but had not received a response by the time of print.

"The relevant legislation does not specify a lifespan for a licence of this type, therefore, the licence does not have a specified expiration date," the Council added. "However, there is scope for a future review of the licence in certain circumstances."

The local authority said the application was subject to detailed assessment including air-dispersion modelling and odour assessment, and Roadstone reiterated to The Kerryman that it operates in line with all relevant environmental; health and safety; and regulatory and planning conditions. None of this, however, has put locals' minds at ease, Mr Murphy said this week.

"We will be appealing it as a residents' group," he said. "I can't get my head around the fact we can't burn smoky coal and yet they can come along and start this...If it's not good enough for a bag of coal, how is it good enough for an asphalt plant in the same area?

"I know they have to put a tarmacadam plant somewhere, but for me, there are far too many houses close to this."

Mr Murphy also questioned if there's a need for two asphalt plants in close proximity given that Kerry County Council this month also granted permission for a Roadstone asphalt plant in the Ballymacelligott area.

He added that Killarney is hugely dependant on tourism, and he questioned what impact this plant will have on this market.

"It would be remiss of us not to appeal," Mr Murphy added. "I don't feel the greater Killarney area is paying enough attention to this development."

Kerry County Council said any party may lodge an appeal with the EPA.


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