McCrea vows to back residents

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South Antrim MP William McCrea is to meet with the Environment Minister to discuss the controversial Mallusk waste incinerator plan.

Dr McCrea revealed this week that he plans to lead a cross-party delegation to meet with Mark H Durkan to highlight the concerns local residents have raised about arc21’s proposal to build a £240m Energy from Waste plant at Hightown Quarry.

“Whilst others have sought to be divisive regarding the proposed development at Boghill Road, I believe that because of the importance of the issue that we must rise above party politics to oppose this planning application on a united front. My constituents in the Mallusk area are well aware of my opposition to the environmental destruction of the area over recent years with other planning approvals such as Cottonmount. I genuinely believe that the proposed site at Boghill Road would be detrimental to the residents of the area, and that the scale and nature of the proposal is totally unsuitable for this location,” he said.

“I have requested Minister Durkan to receive a cross-party delegation in opposition to this proposed planning application. It is my intention as Member of Parliament for the area to lead this delegation and I trust that the Minister will respond in a positive light.”

Airport DEA (includes Hightown and Mallusk) election candidates, Cllr Paul Michael, Cllr Thomas Burns and Cllr Oran Keenan have also voiced their opposition to the arc21 plan.

Cllrs Burns and Keenan described Hightown as “a totally unsuitable location for an incinerator” and urged people to register their objections to the planning application.

Cllr Michael, the chairman of Antrim Borough Council’s Planning Committee, revealed that he has met with representatives of the Bombardier/Full Circle consortium to discuss their proposal to build a waste gasification plant in east Belfast, describing it as “a complete game changer that should be supported by all.”

Meanwhile, representatives of the No-Arc21 campaign group visited the offices of the Planning Service in Belfast on Wednesday, April 30 to hand in more than 500 letters of objection to the Hightown plan.

The group says the letters take the total number of objections to over 1,000.

“The fact that over 1,000 objections have been lodged just one month after the application was submitted shows the huge level of concern this proposal has created,” said No-Arc21 chairman Colin Buick.

“While the proposal has been publicly opposed by representatives from all major parties, the decision on the planning application will ultimately be made by current Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan. Therefore it is vital that concerned residents continue to have their voices heard by submitting letters of objection to DOE Planning.”