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Thurles Residents Angered By Planning For A 24.500 Ton Waste Collection Centre

A flooded Cabragh Business Park, at Thurles, Co. Tipperary, close to Cabragh Wetlands.

Earlier this week, we were informed by angry residents living in the Ballycurrane / Cabragh residential area of Thurles, that they have received correspondence, for the first time, regarding planning sought for a 24.500 ton waste collection centre, at Cabragh Business Park, Thurles.
Same, if planning is granted, will operate close to one of the last of Ireland’s great environmental treasures, that of Cabragh Wetlands.

The Cabragh Wetlands Trust was first registered in 1993 in an effort to save a vast area of wetland habitats from destruction, after the filling-in of settling pools by the now defunct Thurles Sugar Factory; these lagoons once were an oasis of wildlife, particularly birds. The Wetland Trust, run by volunteers, was formed; and acquired the land adjacent to the filled-in lagoons, thus ensuring the continuation of a resting place for migratory birds.

Video & Pictures courtesy G. Willoughby.

Having read the letter hereunder, you can also read some of the comments forwarded to us by the residents, same also published herewith.

Homeowner
Ballycurrane Thurles
Co. Tipperary.

Dear Neighbour,
I am writing to introduce myself and my business and also to inform you of our intention for a proposed facility at Cabra Industrial Estate and invite you to consult with us should you have any queries or concerns in relation to the proposed development.

For over 30 years, Ryan’s Cleaning, a family run business based in Thurles have been serving commercial clients nationwide, in the UK and in mainland Europe. We have an impeccable track record in business and the quality of services we deliver are to the highest professional standards.
I am proud to say we work in a highly regulated, audited and quality assured industry that has made strides over the last decade in terms of efficient performance and compliance with waste legislation.

We are accredited to the following international standard: ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 and 20121, which set out the requirements for safety, health, environment and sustainability.

Ryan’s Cleaning meets all the necessary requirements, legislation and regularly engage with stakeholders. The International Organisation for Standardisation who set the standards, externally audit our business practices on an ongoing basis to assess our performance and compliance against the relevant standards.

Ryans Cleaning has enjoyed multiple successes at the National Facility Management Awards, County Tipperary Business Awards and has been shortlisted for multiple prestigious Green Awards.

We are reaching out as we have recently applied for planning permission to operate a waste transfer station at the Cabra Industrial Estate in your area and it has come to our attention there has been some misinformation circulating which we would like to address for your peace of mind.

Below I have identified some obvious concerns that residents may have however, if you require further information on these or if you have any other queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us as we welcome consultation and engagement with our neighbours.

Please note we have a 3D model of the facility available for viewing and we can share this with you to see it for yourself, just give us a call and we can arrange same.
The planning permission sought under planning reg. ref. 21158, is to accept, sort and stream 5,000 tonnes of recyclable materials per annum.

The planning notice states the typical size of this sort of facility capped at 24,500 tonnes, however, the annual throughput of 5,000 tonnes is what has been applied for within the planning application and I have enclosed a copy of this for your comfort.

Only non-biodegradable waste types will be received at the facility such as bulky goods and dry recyclables. No domestic waste, organic waste or biodegradable type waste are to be received at the facility eliminating the source of potential odour at the facility.

All processing activities will be carried out within the building mitigating against emissions from the facility.

An Appropriate Assessment Screening for the development has been carried out to ensure the habitat at Cabra wetlands is not impacted by the development. I am pleased to inform you there would be no impact posed by our development or activities on this protected and much-loved area.

All activities will be conducted in an enclosed structure both fit for purpose and built to the highest of standards with screening and wheel washing as standard practice. The visual amenity at the site will be improved through screening of the site with landscaping and installation of trees in conjunction with appropriate maintenance of the yards and buildings.
Our family have been in business for generations and our reputation in the town, county, nationally and internationally in our industry is unrivalled. We run an extremely tight ship, always have done and always will. We have achieved and maintained the relevant ISOs for over a decade, something most in our industry operate without.

We employ local people, shop for our equipment, vehicles and supplies locally and will continue this practice to serve our local community into the future. Annually, we also supported local community groups and charities and will continue to do so.

Ryans Cleaning have been a benchmark for excellence in our field for decades. In normal times I would have liked to meet you in person however, amid restrictions this letter will have to suffice for now.

I trust the information provided herein is to your satisfaction, allay any concerns you might have regarding the proposed development and provide clarity on the annual throughput of 5,000 tonnes submitted in the planning application.

If you have any queries or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at 0504-24406.

Yours Sincerely,
[Signed by Mr Pat Ryan, CEO Ryan’s Cleaning.]

Issues now angering & confusing local residents.

It would appear that Mr Ryan’s recent correspondence sent to residents in the Cabragh / Ballycurrane area raises more questions than it does answers.

Hereunder just some of the issues raised.

(1) In his letter Mr Ryan states “The planning notice states the typical size of this facility is capped at 24,500 tonnes, however, the annual throughput of 5,000 tonnes is what Ryan’s Cleaning has applied for, within the planning application and “I have enclosed a copy of this for your comfort.”

The site notice and the notice published recently in the Nenagh Guardian clearly states planning is required for 24,500 tonnes per annum, not 5,000 tonnes. This has been the only notice made available to residents and members of the public.

Mr Ryan merely takes an extract from his application to refer to 5000 tonnes, however, that is not what he applied for initially in his full submission for planning in the section 8 description of the proposed development; rather he states “the facility will not exceed 24,500 tonnes per annum”.
This is clearly not what his site notice and newspaper application states; nor what his Architectural adviser Mr Sean A. Ryan states, which was conveyed to Tipperary Co. Council in their planning application.
If Mr Ryan is only applying for 5000 tonnes, he must now amend his application to Tipperary Co. Council, as the decision is due to issue on 08/04/2021.
The residents now request that Ryan Cleaning and Tipperary Co. Council both withdraw from the planning process, until post covid-19, in the interests of equality and fairness.

(2) According to the local residents affected, Mr Ryan is informing people that Cabragh Business Park is the only available site. Residents are adamant that this is not so. They claim that Mr Ryan has acreage near his home in Borrisoleigh that he could use, away from private housing estates etc. Indeed, presently he operates out of a large factory building in an industrial estate, where he has huge sheds already constructed; ready to use, latter owned by a local Municipal District Councillor and businessman. Same if used would be away from any area of natural conservation.

(3) In his recent letter, residents point out, “An appropriate assessment screening for the development has been carried out to ensure the habitat at Cabra Wetlands is not impacted by the development. I am pleased to inform you there would be no impact by our development or activities on this protected and much loved area.”

Residents state that the assessment makes no mention of Cabragh Wetlands, it states “no impact on the River Suir”. It also fails to mention that an existing waste facility is already up and running next door to his own site. It states that the nearest house is 400 metres away, which residents claim is totally untrue.
It states the area is non residential; light industrial; with no traffic impact. Residents claim no suitable/proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been in fact conducted.

(4) “We are reaching out……. and it has come to our attention there has been some misinformation, which we would like to address for your peace of mind.”

Mr Ryan does not state what he means in this extract above. There is no misinformation according to residents.

(5) “We welcome consultation and engagement with our neighbours. We have a 3D model of the facility available for viewing and we can share this with you.”

Mr Ryan is asking us to visit his offices, that you can’t go into because of National Public Health Guidelines regarding social distancing. Why did Mr Ryan not consult the residents, pre his original application?
In reference to his last paragraph, “in normal times” etc; residents point out that these are not normal times, we are experiencing a pandemic, a public crisis, there has been a Government lockdown since December last; schools are closed; attendance at outdoor funerals is curtailed to 10 family members; we can’t go anywhere; we are told to stay at home etc.

The anger and discontent within the town of Thurles is now greatly heightened according to the residents, with whom we corresponded.

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