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Council has ‘serious concerns’ about Claremorris Bio plant

Council expresses ‘serious concerns’ over proposed Claremorris Bio plant

Michael Commins

THE promoters of the proposed Biopharma facility at Kilbeg, Claremorris have been asked by Mayo County Council to submit a whole new range of documents and information in relation to the development. It was expected that a decision may have been forthcoming from the Council in relation to planning permission in early April. It now appears as if it will be towards the end of the year before any such decision is declared by the planning authority.
The Council has expressed “serious concerns that the developers are proposing to construct a Bio Pharmaceutical and Bio-Medical facilities where there are no final occupier or end user and yet these are presented as Research and Development and manufacturing operations with no supporting evidence of same. Assumptions are being made throughout the documentation submitted, including the EIS, which have no basis or justification and may therefore be misleading and a misrepresentation of the proposed situation.”
The Council also states that the scale of the proposal is huge. “The average height is approximately 16m (52ft) spread over an immense footprint. Indeed, the CHP plant rises to over 20m (66ft) and chimney/emission points at a height of 26m (85ft). The scale and form of the proposal is further weakened by its extremely severe external expression. The design and location of such a facility in the rural area is considered unacceptable.”
In a major ten page response to the developers application, the Planning Section of Mayo County Council demands answers to a vast array of questions. They have specifically requested the provision of supporting documentation regarding the exact extent and nature of the proposed facilities and activities namely (1) Combined heat and power plant, (2) Wood chip pellet plan, (3) Bio-pharmaceutical facility, (4) Bio-medical facility. “It is noted that the details submitted to Mayo County Council on the 14 February 2012 are not sufficient to clarify the exact nature and extent of what is being proposed and there is a lack of information and supporting documentation regarding same.”
The Council is seeking a massive amount of information in relation to roads in the immediate vicinity of the proposed plant which would involve the redesign of the N60 junction. The developers have been asked to clarify if a right of way exists across the “Bog Road” as the proposed developer effectively proposes to close up this road way.
Other worries raised in the correspondence deal with matters such as surface water sewers, foul water sewers and water supply. Over 120 objections have been lodged with Mayo County Council concerning the proposed development which is just off the N17.