Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Aodhan O'Faolain

A High Court judge has ruled that a waste recycling facility in the Midlands can only accept construction and demolition waste.

In his judgment Mr Justice Garrett Simons made orders prohibiting the site operated by Oxigen Environmental at Barnan, Daingean, in Co Offaly, from accepting any other type of waste material.

The judge made the order after finding that the conditions of the planning permission granted to the operators of the facility, means that only construction and demolition waste can be accepted at the site.

The facility, the judge added, cannot accept other material such mixed dry recyclables, was from household or commercial skips or waste from civic amenity sites.

Local residents

The judge made his ruling in proceedings brought by several local residents, who all live in the vicinity of the site, against the facility’s operator Guessford Ltd, trading as Oxigen Environmental.

The residents who brought the action are Elaine Kelly Dunne, Noel Moore, Ann Flynn, David Kelly, Annette McGrath, Lousie O’Sullivan, Claire Moore Matt Kelly and Michael Kelly.

Represented by Oisin Collins Bl, Margaret Heavey Bl instructed by solicitor Aoife O’Connell the residents argued that certain activities being carried out at the facility was breach of its planning permission.

They claimed that activities on the site were confined to the recycling of construction and demolition waste only, and it could not accept and treat other waste including non-inert commercial or municipal waste.

Permits

Opposing the action Oxigen had argued that it was authorised, thanks to a permit initially granted by Offaly Co Council in 2010, to carry out a much broader range of activities at the facility, including receiving and treating commercial waste and timber.

No organic or household waste is accepted at the facility, it added.

In his judgement Mr Justice Simons said the court had been asked to determine in the proceedings the extent of what activities Oxigen can carry out at the facility under the planning permission.

The court added that the court also had to assess evidence put before it to determine whether any of the activities carried out at the waste facility fall outside of the authorised use.

Ruling in favour of the residents the judge said he was satisfied that the planning permit allows Oxigen to only accept construction and demolition for recycling at the facility.

Such material the judge aid included stone and soil from excavations, brick rubble and concrete. Other material could not be accepted at the site.

The judge said that he was making an order prohibiting Oxigen from accepting fridges, waste electrical and electronic equipment, beds mattresses, sofas and tyres and the treatment of timber, by shredding at the site.

The matter will return before the court next month for final orders.

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