Hightown incinerator project: Council defers decision as it awaits more information

NoArc21 protesters outside Mossley Mill on Monday evening. INNT 27-800CON
NoArc21 protesters outside Mossley Mill on Monday evening. INNT 27-800CON

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has again deferred making a decision on arc21’s controversial plan for a £240m waste incinerator at Hightown Quarry, near Mallusk.

During the local authority’s full council meeting on Monday, June 27, members again deferred a decision on the issue as they await further information about the business case for the energy from waste plant project.

A statement issued after the meeting said: “The council continues to defer its decision regarding the Residual Waste Treatment Project in order to seek further legal advice and clarity regarding the project. This will allow the council to make a more fully informed decision as to whether the business case is in the best interests of our ratepayers.”

Asked if arc21 and the Becon Consortium have provided the information previously requested by the council, a spokesperson said: “To date, they have provided some but not all of the information.”

arc21’s plan for the Boghill Road site was turned down by the Environment Minister last year, but the regional waste management body is hoping that decision will be overturned by the Planning Appeals Commission.

However, since the appeal was lodged, questions have been raised about whether or not it can go ahead without the support of all arc21’s constituent councils.

Anti-incinerator campaigners from the NoArc21 group gathered at Mossley Mill ahead of Monday night’s meeting to reaffirm their opposition to the Hightown project.

Speaking after the meeting, Colin Buick, chairman of NoArc21 said: “Whilst our community group is obviously disappointed at the further delay this has caused, we remain confident that Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council will act in the best interest of ratepayers and reject the arc21 planning appeal in due course.”

• Read related story - Council defers decision on Hightown waste incinerator project