Hightown waste incinerator appeal concludes

Part of the NO-ARC21 delegation pictured at the opening day of the PAC hearing. INNT 42-821CON
Part of the NO-ARC21 delegation pictured at the opening day of the PAC hearing. INNT 42-821CON

A Planning Appeals Commission hearing into arc21’s plans for a £240m waste incinerator near Mallusk concluded on Wednesday.

The hearing commenced in Belfast on Tuesday, October 11, with the final proceedings being heard yesterday afternoon.

The Times understands that a report will be ready by February 2017.

A spokesperson on behalf of arc21 said: “Since we initiated this process over five years ago, there has been considerable public consultation and examination of the project. The inquiry before the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) provides another opportunity for any person or organisation to present their views. arc21 welcomes the fact that the issues will be robustly considered in a transparent manner at this independent forum. This enhances the scrutiny and rigour already applied to the proposals.

“arc21 is seeking to develop necessary infrastructure that will help support waste management self-sufficiency, improve recycling rates, diversify energy supplies, combat waste crime and generate economic activity. The proposed mix of facilities being considered by the PAC will achieve these goals.”

No-Arc21 campaign group was established to highlight concerns regarding arc21’s proposal to develop the incinerator and facilities at the Boghill Road site. They have been actively opposed to it since plans were announced in March 2013.

No-Arc21 chairperson, Colin Buick said: “I am delighted with the turnout and support we received. I wish to thank the residents who took time out of their busy schedules to come and show support during the appeal. Some people even used holidays in work to be able to come and support us.

“No-Arc21 is indebted to Ald Mark Cosgrove, Claudine Doherty and Prof Vyvyane Howard who addressed the need for the incinerator, planning issues and the health impacts.”

Mr Buick added: “We will be meeting with Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Michelle McIlveen in November and will be continuing to contest the incinerator.

“If Mark H Durkan’s decision is overturned, we will fight on with a judicial review or request a public inquiry.”