Decision to allow Cork biogas facility on farmland upheld
An attempt by environmental group, An Taisce, to prevent a biogas plant being set up in Co. Cork has been unsuccessful.
An Bord Pleanála has upheld a decision by Cork County Council to grant planning permission for the replacement of agricultural structures at Corracunna and Garryleagh, Mitchelstown with a central gas injection facility.
The development is being spearheaded by Gas Networks Ireland.
Site location and development
The site of the proposed facility is located in a rural area about 3.5km outside the town of Mitchelstown in north Cork.
The development will result in the demolition of the farm building and the construction of a central gas injection (CGI) facility within a site area of around 1.8ha.
The works will include a concrete apron; 16 truck bays; welfare / office facility; medium voltage substation; eight pressure reduction skid units; two boiler units; propane storage as well as ancillary units and equipment.
It will facilitate smaller agricultural anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities through providing a common injection location, meaning the gas would be produced and processed off-site at AD facilities throughout the region with the expected volume of traffic estimated at 25 Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) per day.
Gas Networks Ireland sought planning permission from Cork County Council for the plant for a period of ten years.
An Taisce argued that Gas Networks Ireland failed to consider the “considerable environmental impacts of biomethane production”, particularly “that which is reliant on intensive dairy farming and silage production”.
The group said that biogas plants and their respective feedstock sources should have been assessed as part of a full Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR).
Despite the concerns from An Taisce, the higher planning authority – An Bord Pleanála (ABP) – has allowed the development of the biogas plant in Cork, with revised conditions attached.
Among the 12 conditions is a stipulation that mitigation measures outlined in the environmental report, which formed part of the application, must be implemented in full.
Meanwhile, AgriLand recently reported that planning permission has recently been granted for Bord na Móna Powergen Ltd to develop a biogas plant in Co. Laois.
Conditional approval has been given for the renewable gas facility, along with associated works, to be developed at Cúil na Móna bog, in the townland of Clonboyne and Clonkeen, Portlaoise.