PERMISSION has been given for a firewood plant at a Castletown quarry.
Mr Eddie Veale, managing director of Carroll Quarries Ltd, applied to Laois County Council in March, for a new development at Knockacoller Quarry, Knockacoller Townland, which is roughly 2km southwest of Castletown.
Mr Veale intends to build a firewood processing facility and a quarry product blending and bagging facility. The proposed development will be located within the existing registered quarry area, run by Carroll Quarries Ltd. The 600 sq metre development will comprise the erection of two 300 sq metre sheds. One shed will be used for the cutting and splitting of timber and the bagging of the split timber, as well as a kindling making and bagging facility. The other shed will be used for quarry product blending and bagging.
The facility will operate Monday to Friday, 7am to 8pm, and Saturday 7am to 6pm. Quarry activities and the loading of trucks may take place outside of these times, so long as noise levels comply with set limits. Two part-time employees are needed .
No signage is proposed and no waste management is needed, as waste management is located within the existing quarry.
Architect for the development is Mr Peter Kingham.
In their application, the company said there is a need for such a facility, as the nearby forestry area was planted 19 years ago and is now due a harvest in the next few months. They also pointed out that the location of the wood cutting facility in close proximity to the raw materials eliminates the need for transport and will reduce traffic on public roads.
Laois County Council initially requested a Natura Impact Statement.
as they felt the development could have an impact on the surrounding environment. The impact statement found that the development is not likely to have an adverse effect on the area, and conditional permission has now been given.