Crematorium proposal for north Cork was ‘out of touch’ with rural Ireland and local farmers

Controversial plans to build a crematorium in Kanturk have been put to rest, as An Bord Pleanála has upheld a ruling made by Cork City Council in January to reject planning permission for the site.

An appeal was brought by Castle Lodges (Ireland) Ltd to build a crematorium on the site of the former Duhallow Park Hotel in Drumcommer Beg, Kanturk (Co. Cork).

The decision by An Bord Pleanála has been welcomed by local Fine Gael Councillor Liam Madden, who said: “It felt almost out of touch with rural Ireland to even propose building it in this area; there was no involvement of the community before a submission was made.”

The reasons for the rejection of Castle Lodges’ appeal were largely focused on the effects a crematorium would have on air quality and the environment and an increase in traffic on the notoriously busy N72 Mallow to Killarney road.

There were more than 50 complaints lodged with Cork County Council by members of the community including several farmers. Their concerns very much aligned with the reasons An Bord Pleanála rejected permission.

‘People in the area have different needs to what was proposed’

Councillor Madden said that the application got so much criticism as “people in the area have different needs to what was proposed – everyone acknowledges we need more accommodation in the general area so any plans to build something else were not going to be favourable”.

“In time, it may be something people wish for but it just wasn’t right for now.”

Also outlined by An Bord Pleanála was the potential effect of a crematorium on the EU-protected Blackwater River Special Area of Conservation. In its ruling, the appeals board said the River Blackwater risked being polluted by surface water from roadworks that would be carried out. This, in turn, would reduce the quality of fishery in the area.

Councillor Madden added that the proposal was one of great concern for agriculture in the area, which has “such a strong dairy and tillage influence on the country”.

“The decline in air quality and increase in emissions would have an effect on the standard of farming in the area, and there is a big farming community here that already faces enough challenges every day.”