By: William O’Toole
C&D Recycling has been ordered to remove all waste and equipment from a site in Rathnew, the High Court has ruled today.
Stan O’Reilly, who had operated the company, claimed that he did not need planing permission as it had been previously used for solid fuel storage and grain baggage.
It was argued that the the collection, sorting and recycling of construction materials came within the definition of “industrial process” which meant under regulation it was exempt from permission.
In July 2006, Wicklow County Council had granted Mr O’Reilly a a waste management permit but later that month a complaint was made about unauthorised use and the Council investigated the matter.
Three years later, Mr O’Reilly applied for a declaration (under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000) that his “recycling activity” was exempted development.
However, Wicklow County Council strongly disputed with this interpretation, claiming that it constituted a material change of use and took enforcement proceedings against Mr O’Reilly.
It was heard in the Circuit Court last July that there had been an unauthorised material change of use but it did not order Mr O’Reilly to remove all waste and equipment from the site as the council had revoked his waste permit while the case was originally ongoing.
Handing down judgment today, Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley said that she did not accept that Mr O’Reilly could not remove waste from the site because his lease from the owners of the site had ended and therefore he could not now enter the site.
” I find it hard to imagine the owners, the Stafford family, would prefer to keep the site in its current condition rather than co-operate with its remediation. ” she said.
Ms Justice O’Malley also rebuked claims that Mr O’Reilly was no longer in a financial position to remove waste and equipment from the site. There was no evidence to support this claim she said, based on the evidence of his means and current occupation.
In handing down her ruling she said that given the lapse of time since the original proceedings, a realistic timetable for the removal of waste and equipment should be agreed on by both parties.
Wicklownews.net understands that Mr O’Reilly did not contest today’s Supreme Court decision.