Dungannon waste recycling plant plan may have to be reconsidered

A conerned Ballynakelly resident Trevor Stratton points to the "Say No to the Biodigester Plant Here" sign.INTT5014-329
A conerned Ballynakelly resident Trevor Stratton points to the "Say No to the Biodigester Plant Here" sign.INTT5014-329

Campaigners against a waste recycling plant in Ballynakelly are hoping that planning approval for the facility can still be overturned after a ‘positive’ meeting on Friday afternoon.

The Times has learned that four residents, Lord Maurice Morrow and DUP Councillor Clement Cuthbertson met with the area’s head planner to talk about the proposed waste plant in Ballynakelly, which has attracted 239 objections.

At the two-hour meeting, which was held at Magherafelt Council offices, the group were given the chance to put their points across to Chris Boomer.

One resident who was at the meeting, told the Times: “It’s not going before the council on Monday.”

He said he believed this decision was taken because of a reply that Environment Minister Mark H Durkan gave Lord Morrow following an Assembly question on “restrictions on where a [CAD] plant can be located”.

“It all stemmed on the letter from the Minister [about a plant’s proximity to its source material],” the resident added.

“The biggest point was that they didn’t know whether it was policy or guidance.”

And in relation to the outcome of the meeting, he said: “I felt reasonably happy... but I wouldn’t be of the opinion that it’s not going ahead.”

“We put across our concerns about pollution, noise and traffic impact. We would still be of the opinion that it has a vision impact on the village itself.”

He went on to tell the Times, that he left the meeting with the impression that the application would not be considered at Monday’s meeting of Dungannon Council to give planners the chance “to verify what was meant by the Minister” in his reply to Lord Morrow. And whether “it is policy”.

“We did intend to go to the council meeting on Monday night, but we will have to call that off now,” he added.

Cllr Cuthbertson said although he could not confirm whether the plans would be pulled from Monday’s council’s agenda - that it was a possibility.

“It’s up to the senior planner what happens now,” he said.

“The senior planner [will] go away and look at the issues that we have raised.

“Between the rest of this evening [Friday] and Monday, if he decides that any points that we raised here adds nothing or takes nothing away from it, he might just let it continue on.

“Personally I would think that we did give enough evidence that he would have to go through the whole decision making process again.”