Roche Ireland can confirm that it has received a formal final grant of planning permission to commence work on the phased demolition of all existing buildings, structures and infrastructure, on, in, over and under the site of its existing Roche pharmaceutical plant at Clarehill, Clarecastle, Co Clare.
Acknowledging receipt of permission to proceed with the decommissioning project, Roche Ireland managing director Gerry Cahill said: “This is a very positive outcome. We look forward to commencing work on this strategic project and the benefits it will deliver to Clarecastle and Co Clare. We thank the community in Clarecastle for their ongoing support for the project and we will continue to communicate regular updates to the community as the project progresses.”
The decision to decommission the 88-acre site is driven by Roche's Global Remediation Policy and the principles of its Corporate Social Responsibility. Protecting the environment is an integral part of Roche's business. Roche believes that existing landfills containing hazardous wastes with the potential to impact the environment should be addressed proactively, even if this entails applying solutions exceeding the individual country’s legal framework. It was therefore deemed necessary to demolish buildings on-site that have no future use and excavate and remove any contaminated soil and material on-site.
Decommissioning will comprise two activities: demolition and remediation. This work will be controlled and governed by the conditions set out in the planning approval received from Clare County Council and a new Industrial Emissions Licence (IEL) from the EPA.
Approximately 160 people will be employed on-site at peak periods during decommissioning. The work will be overseen by a team comprising Roche, and a team of project consultants and engineers with leading-edge experience and expertise in decommissioning. The project timeline, as set out in the planning application, but which may be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and requirements, is scheduled to commence in mid-2021. Demolition and remediation will be undertaken from mid-2021 to mid-2024. Groundwater remediation and monitoring will take a further four to five years subject to agreement with the EPA. In decommissioning the site at Clarehill, Roche’s legacy to the community of Clarecastle and Co Clare will be the delivery of a remediated brownfield site with the potential for employment creation into the future.