Cork expansion plan rejected

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ringaskiddy.jpgThe Irish Planning Appeals Board (An Bord Pleanála) has rejected an application from the Port of Cork for a €225m development at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour.

The port had hoped to build a container terminal at Ringaskiddy to which it could move current operations from its Tivoli facilities. The port had argued that Tivoli would soon exceed its capacity: there was no so spare land for expansion and the number and size of ships accommodated would be severely limited.

In 2007 traffic through the port reached 10.6m tonnes, the highest annual throughput in the history of the port. Container traffic grew by 8% increasing from 185,000teu to a record 200,000teu.

The planning board held a public hearing in April but deferred a decision until the end of June. More than 500 written submissions against the proposed terminal were received, including one from the Port of Waterford. Waterford management had objected to a facility it saw as “unwarranted and unnecessary in a context where ample port capacity exists on the island of Ireland”.

It is believed the rejection of the application resulted from concerns over potential excess traffic and congestion on the roads and the lack of a rail link.

Management at the Port of Cork was unavailable for comment.