Global compounding firm RTP Co. has ended its controversial efforts to build a plant in Skibbereen, Ireland.
Save Our Skibbereen — a local group opposing the project — said Sept. 17 that Winona, Minn.-based RTP had withdrawn its application to build the plant. National planning commission An Bord Pleanala informed SOS of the withdrawal, officials said.
RTP Vice President Danny Miles declined to comment on the case.
The plant was initially granted approval by ABP in late 2017, but that approval was immediately contested by SOS. In July, the Irish High Court delayed an order that would have allowed construction of the plant to begin, tossing the project back into a holding pattern.
The main ground for the court’s decision, according to SOS, was that the screening by ABP for appropriate assessment was in breach of requirements established by the European Union’s Court of Justice in 2017. A second review of the application was expected to take as long as 18 months.
SOS had claimed that the plant would have had a negative environmental impact on local nature reserves and would have increased commercial traffic in the area.
In an email to PRW, SOS Chairman Brendan McCarthy said that the group “hugely welcomes” news of the RTP withdrawal. PRW is a sister publication of Plastics News.
“It has been a long process, with lots of dark days and bumps on the road, but it is extremely rewarding to see common sense prevailing,” McCarthy said. He added that it was rewarding “to see that the community pulling together for the good of the community as a whole can win against big businesses and powerful organizations.”
“This is a time of celebration for the community here,” McCarthy said.
At full operation, the 16,000 square-foot plant would have created about 40 jobs. RTP previously announced that it would operate the plant under the Clean Sweep initiative, which would see specific efforts made to eliminate any plastic pellet overspill from entering the surrounding area.
RTP has said very little about the plant and the battle against planning approval. In a statement released in January, Miles said that the firm “welcomed the decision of Cork County Council to grant permission for our project in Skibbereen, which gave due consideration to the observations received from local residents.”
Skibbereen is a town of about 3,000 located less than 10 miles from Ireland's southern coast. RTP President and CEO Hugh Miller’s wife, Vera Daly, comes from Ireland’s West Cork region, which includes Skibbereen. RTP does business in Ireland as Daly Products Ltd.
More than 6,000 area residents signed a petition opposing the RTP plant. Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons, who owns a historic castle in the area, also publicly opposed the project. SOS attracted local and international attention for its opposition to the plant.
RTP has been active in Europe, opening a new plant in Poland last year. The firm also has European plants in France and Germany.