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Mallusk incinerator: Arc21 planning application refused by Minister

Planning permission has been refused today (Sunday, March 27) for the multi-million pound waste incinerator facility proposed for Mallusk.

The planning application - centred on the site of the former Hightown Quarry - was submitted in 2014 and has attracted considerable controversy down the years.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced today that she has refused planning permission for the large scale waste treatment facility.

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She said she was ‘not persuaded there is a need for this specific facility’ and felt it could discourage recycling.

A computer generated image of the proposed facility.

Arc21, the umbrella waste management group for 11 councils in the east of Northern Ireland, had proposed to construct the incinerator and waste sorting plant on the Boghill Road in Newtownabbey.

The application was for a facility that would have the ability to thermally treat 300,000 tonnes per year of municipal waste.

As this is a regionally significant planning application, it means that the final decision rests with the Minister.

Minister Mallon said: “I consider that this development for a residual waste treatment facility in the former Hightown Quarry of Boghill Road should be refused.

“I have carefully considered all the information before me and I have listened to the concerns of local people and their public representatives.

“There have been in excess of 5,000 objections to this application.”

She added: “My priorities for this assembly mandate were to improve lives, connect communities, grow a balanced economy and tackle the climate emergency. In respect of the latter, I am committed to climate action, and promoting recycling is an important aspect in that regard.

“This development could result in an increased market for waste disposal and to maintain a facility such as this, in addition to the other approved waste facilities, could discourage recycling.

“I am not persuaded that there is a need for this specific facility. In that context I do not consider there to be any need for this proposal.”

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