A public meeting was held in Claremorris last Tuesday night to discuss the granting of planning permission by the Mayo County Council for a biopharma facility and combined heat and power plant, fueled by biomass fuels at Kilbeg, Claremorris. The application had been made by Biopharamed West Ltd and Imperative Energy for the development last February, and the council granted permission for development on March 7 this year, with 39 conditions attached. At the meeting held on Tuesday night a committee was formed and a decision was made by a majority of those in attendance to lodge an objection to the development to An Bord Pleanála.
Local Fine Gael county councillor Tom Connolly told the Mayo Advertiser this week: “There was a good turn out at the meeting, maybe 120 people, and the decision was made by the majority there that they felt the development would pose a liability to the town and could be a health hazard, so the group will be making an objection to An Bord Pleanála.”
Connolly was one of a number of local councillors to speak to the meeting with Cllr Richard Finn, Cllr Patsy O’Brien, and Cllr John Cribben all addressing the meeting. Cllr Finn spoke to the Mayo Advertiser after the meeting, and while supporting the project itself he said the decision to make the appeal to An Bord Pleanála was the right thing to do. “I advised the people there to make the objection to An Bord Pleanála, I think that any project of this size should go to the board to make sure that the full armoury of the State is used to ensure everything is done properly.”
Cllr Finn believes that this project will bring Claremorris into the future if it goes ahead. “This is a €30 million plus investment into the town of Claremorris, it’ll make us one of the most eco-towns in the country and see us attract the big ‘pharma’ jobs we want to see come to the town - highly skilled, long term jobs in a top of the line industry. You expect objections for projects of this size , but this has the potential to bring Claremorris into the future and up to the level we want to be at to attract these big companies to the town. As long as they go through all the correct environmental, safety, road design requirements, and everything is in order, I’ve no problem with this.”