Council Dump At East Cork Beauty Spot under Review

By Seamus Whelehan

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Cork County Council say they will review the need for its dump site near an East Cork beauty spot, following a Motion tabled by Sinn Fein Cllr Danielle Twomey.

The waste facility, overlooking Ballinwilling Beach, has been in the ownership of the Council since the 1970’s.

The 1.93 hectare site is partially laid out as a car park, with associated green area and Waste site.

Cllr Twomey told Monday’s sitting of the East Cork Municipality that she would like to see “the Council move to permanently close the Waste Facility and return the car park to the public”.

The Midleton based Cllr said the facility has given council issue after issue, and it should be given back into public use.

“There have been issues with people entering the site when it should be closed, signs have been removed, and there were issues previously with knotweed” she said.

Last year Cork County Council admitted to contributing to an outbreak of Japanese Knotweed at the site.

Fragments of the invasive species were believed to have been taken and dumped at the Council managed facility, following works at another location.

The alien species was treated in a fenced off area of the compound, with no current evidence that Knotweed is growing.

Under current Waste Regulations, Knotweed can be disposed of only in EPA licenced facilities.

Fine Gael Cllr Michael Hegarty, backing Cllr Twomey’s Motion, questioned if the Council site “was a designated, official site for the dumping and storage of the product that is there.”

Senior Engineer Cork Roads, Dave Clarke, said the area is “a permitted waste site for storing soils and subsoil. The Waste Certificate is on the gate for anyone to read.”

The area, which is subject to aggressive erosion, has some rock armour on the coast to protect it.

Material brought on site, particularly from Council Road Works and Maintenance, is often used to protect against further erosion.

Mr Clarke said that, while he was willing to review the Council’s use at Ballinwilling, “the area seems to meet the demand for parking, for those who use the beach.”

The senior engineer said a recent survey of the site found it to be clean and secure.

He said “there is some scope to put additional parking back in, if that is required.”

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