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Sinn Féin submit EU ‘Petition of Concern’ on Coleraine super-dumps issue

24 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Coleraine councillor, Billy Leonard, has officially raised a 'Petition of Concern' in the European Parliament asking that they take the 'strongest appropriate action' on the possibility of four dump sites in and around the Ringsend area outside Coleraine.

A preferred 'super-dump' serving seven north western councils will be in addition to a landfill site that is due to re-open within months, a planning application has been lodged for a third site and a fourth site could be earmarked for a Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plant. All are within a few square miles of each other.

Local concerns have been voiced and Leonard describes these as "very genuine fears".

Cllr Leonard added:

"The prospect of four major waste management sites in such a small area will change it forever.

"Local people have very genuine fears including the astronomical rise in traffic as lorries from seven councils plus wherever the additional private operators derive their business from, use totally inadequate roads.

"They also fear threats on many environmental issues. Forests, rivers and wildlife will undoubtedly be affected.

"All local government departments and agencies look at these actual or potential sites individually: nobody will really look at the cumulative effect except the European Parliament. That is why I promised members of the community at a public meeting that Sinn Féin would work with Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald at European level by submitting this Petition of Concern.

"We are lobbying for the Parliament to undertake a fact-finding mission and then a conduct a hearing. This could be the only means by which the entire picture is considered and this vibrant rural community is given the dignity of being properly heard." ENDS

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