13/09/2017

Plans For Residual Waste Treatment Facility Get The Go-Ahead

Plans to build a Residual Waste Treatment facility in Co Antrim have been given the go-ahead.

The proposed development is to be built at Hightown Quarry on the Boghill Road in Ballyutoag.

The facility is designed to deal with waste from a significant portion of the population and includes a Mechanical and Biological Treatment facility, an Energy from Waste Thermal Treatment facility, an Incinerator Bottom Ash Treatment facility, a Refuse Derived Fuel Bale Storage building and an Administration/Visitor Centre.

The Department for Infrastructure published the independent report prepared by the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) following a hearing into the proposal held in October 2016.
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During the two day hearing, the Commission heard submissions and considered evidence from all parties before presenting its findings to the Department. The PAC report includes full consideration of the planning issues and recommends that planning permission is granted. Importantly, the report endorses the strategic need for the facility, its compliance with regional policy and the significant environmental benefit in terms of meeting waste management/treatment targets and assisting in the battle against waste crime.

However, Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said the decision was a "disgrace".

He said: "Residents and all the elected representatives in the area were united in their opposition to the Hightown incinerator.

"This is a reversal of a previous planning decision against an incinerator in the area.

"Sinn Féin is opposed to these incinerators and the damage it will do to the environment.

"In this specific case waste will come from all eleven council areas. This will entail hundreds of lorries travelling through the area on a daily basis with the resulting pollution. The incinerator may also be used to import waste from areas further afield.

"The granting of this application is the wrong decision and is one which will be opposed by Sinn Féin and all the residents in the area.

"Glengormley is a good place to live with many young families joining a growing population making it their home.

"This is the Belfast basin and therefore dispersal of fumes particularly in high pressure weather conditions is poor and will do damage to people's health."

(CD/LM)

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