Cork county councillors are to urge An Bord Pleanála to put “across the water” noise restrictions into conditions it may grant for any future developments at the former IFI plant at Marino Point, near Cobh, Co Cork.
Councillors representing the Carrigaline Municipal District Council are to draft a letter to the planning authority urging it to apply noise restrictions to prevent people across the harbour in the Passage West and Monkstown areas from suffering sleepless nights.
The Port of Cork and private company Lanber Holdings formed a consortium that purchased the 114-acre site at Belvelly in Cobh in 2017 and has earmarked it for a multi-million euro redevelopment, primarily to handle bulk cargoes of animal feed and fertilisers.
Independent councillor Marcia D’Alton, who is chairman of the Carrigaline Municipal District Council, urged colleagues to ensure people across the estuary are protected from excessive noise from the redevelopment of the once-massive industrial plant.
She said the council must voice concerns about planning permissions which are now being lodged at the facility, the latest being from fertiliser giants Gouldings — which wants to relocate there from its current city headquarters.
Ms D’Alton, an environmental engineer who lives in Passage West, claimed even preliminary work being done at the Marino Point site at night is causing noise issues across the estuary in her hometown.
She proposed that in the light of its potential impact on Passage West, her municipal district council would submit an observation to An Bord Pleanála on the proposed Gouldings/Belvelly Marino Development Company proposals for development at the site.
“There could be a significant impact because of the reinvigoration of the site. The Port of Cork and Lanber Holdings are to intensify their plans (for the facility) and they have already been appealed to Bord Pleanála,” Ms D’Alton said.
She added she’s “particularly conscious” that noise from the redevelopment would become a bigger factor going forward for people in Passage West as development ramps up Marino Point as “they are just 450 metres away.”
“They are just a short distance across the harbour. Water is not an absorber of acoustics; in fact, it actually amplifies noise. The residents in Passage West already have problems sleeping at night despite the minimal amount of work going on there at present, “Ms D’Alton said.
She wants An Bord Pleanála decision-makers to be made aware of this and “how Passage West is so close and vulnerable to noise pollution” from the Marino Point redevelopment.
Fine Gael councillor Jack White agreed with her and said if people make submissions within 450m on the Cobh side of the site they’d be treated more seriously by planners.
Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath maintained it is vital any noise restriction conditions put on future development there takes into account the close proximity of Passage West.
“There’s a long history with this site and (noise hitting) Passage West. Unfortunately, it brings up bad memories to the people of Passage West of previous activities at the site, including (IFI) fertiliser production there,” Mr McGrath said.
Ms D’Alton said she’d already made a submission in a personal capacity on the latest plans for the Marino Point redevelopment. Councillors agreed that their municipal district officials will draft a letter to Bord Pleanála outlining their concerns.