Mallusk incinerator would ‘improve recycling rates’

An artist's impression of the waste treatment plant.
An artist's impression of the waste treatment plant.

The management body behind proposals for a waste treatment facility in Mallusk has claimed that hundreds of jobs will be created if the plans are approved.

arc21, made up of six constituent local authorities in Northern Ireland, is behind proposals for a residual waste treatment facility in the Boghill Road area of Newtownabbey.

The Department for Infrastructure is analysing revised documents for the facility after further environmental information was submitted.

Commenting on the updated information, a spokesperson for arc21 said: “The planning application to develop Hightown Quarry for waste treatment infrastructure is being considered by the Department for Infrastructure.

“This follows a ruling by the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland that the Department did not in September 2017 have a basis in legislation to make a decision to grant planning permission for the development.

“Legislation was enacted in November 2018 at Westminster to allow the Department to make planning decisions, subject to compliance with guidance published by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

“arc21 has updated certain environmental surveys so any future decision is based on the latest information available and to respond to feedback from the planning process to date.”

The spokesperson added: “In addition to helping the local economy through the creation of hundreds of jobs, the proposed infrastructure would help bring waste management in Northern Ireland into line with European best practice and improve recycling rates.

“The facilities will also promote both self-sufficiency and certainty in waste management by reducing reliance upon landfill and the export of waste.”

NoArc21, a group of residents opposed to the plans for the waste treatment facility have stated that they will continue to campaign against the proposal.