Council to oppose Lisburn Energy from Waste plant

LISBURN City Council is to formally oppose plans to build an Energy from Waste gasification plant on the site of the former Burnhouse on the Moira Road.

Voicing his objections to the proposed plant, the Vice Chairman of the Council's Planning Committee Councillor William Leathem said the application should be declared an Article 31 application, making it a major planning application. He also called for a public inquiry to be held before any decision was made.

Mr Leathem said he had grave concerns over the impact of the development and about the products that would be disposed of at the plant.

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"Whilst the site of the proposal lies within the development limits of Lisburn City Council area, it is important to remember that this is an area which is predominately domestic/residential in nature with an adjacent area of manufacturing/storage," said Mr Leathem.

"The proposed use may be detrimental to the residential population of the area and there is no clear evidence on the application submitted that the noise and air pollution have been properly addressed in this proposal.

"The strategic location of this proposal will add insult to injury in this area, as the residents have had to endure problems for years from the current rendering plant."

He went on: "The economic driver to be considered is a key material planning consideration must demonstrate that there is a required need for this type of plant in this location. This has not been clearly demonstrated.

"The visual impact, scale and design needs to be re-considered as the materials do nothing to lessen the sheer size, scale and height of the buildings and plant on the site topography.

"The application is also short of a Traffic Impact Assessment at this very busy junction and any increase in traffic would lead to further major traffic delays in this area," he continued. "This application would require major investment in road infrastructure around this area."

Mr Leathem concluded: "This proposal is not just significant for the Lisburn area but for the whole of Northern Ireland since the application is proposing a large-scale gasification and because of the human and environmental issues that gasification raises it should be considered as an Article 31 application for Public Inquiry for transparency reasons."

Mr Leathem's proposal for the council to formally object to the proposal was seconded by Councillor Basil McCrea. Alderman Jim Dillon also echoed his sentiment, saying: "This is not the proper location and there are other sites available for it. This site lends itself to housing and only housing."

Councillor Jonathan Craig added: "The Burnhouse has been a thorn in the flesh for a long number of years and the last thing we want is to see it replaced by something worse. None of us want this plant in a lovely residential area."