Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Meath incineration planning process cannot disregard views of Newry Council

3 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Newry and Mourne Councillor Pat McGinn has said that An Bord Pleanála must allow the opportunity for the council to make a submission about the proposed combined heat and power plant and ash landfill in County Meath.

Newry and Mourne Council have now agreed to send a letter to An Bord Pleana, the developers and Meath County Council registering its dismay at not being invited to make a submission and demanding the right to do so.

Speaking after an initial meeting with his colleagues, Newry and Mourne Cllr Terry Hearty and Meath County Cllr Michael Gallagher, Cllr McGinn said that he regretted that An Bord Pleanala and the applicants Nobber firm 'College Proteins' had overlooked the fact that areas within Newry and Mourne including Cullovillle and Crossmaglen would be directly impacted upon by the proposed Incinerator Plant.

Cllr McGinn said:

"Pollution and dioxin emissions do not recognise political borders. There are areas within Newry and Mourne including Cullovillle and Crossmaglen will be directly affected by the proposed Incinerator and it is vital that the views of local people and the council this side are the border are taken intro consideration.

"This application was brought under the 'fast-track' Strategic Infrastructural Development Scheme (SIDS) which allows the application to bypass normal county council planning channels and a decision is expected by early November from the planning appeals board.

"This has caused huge controversy, with the vast majority of Meath County Councillors against the project.

"Three years ago Sinn Féin ensured that Newry and Mourne Council was granted time to make a submission against the decision to allow a Waste Incineration Plant at Carranstwon just two miles south of Drogheda and I belive that the council should be given the opportunity to make its present its views .

"At the recent oral hearing in the Newgrange Hotel in Navan an initial application for an extension of time to enable councils in Louth, Cavan, Monaghan, Westmeath, Offaly and Kildare to make submissions was turned down. However that decision was reversed and now these Council areas are being allowed to submit. It is only right and proper that Newry and Mourne Council be given the facility also.

"Environmental Problems cannot be partitioned. The community that Newry and Mourne Council represents were not consulted as per the legal requirement. This amounts to a serious breach of the EIA Directive which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the competent authority for its implementation.

"There is also the Geneva Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution which the Irish government has signed up to and used successfully in its battle against the Sellafield Nuclear Plant. Yet, they have not employed the same legal obligation towards the 90,000 people living in the Newry and Mourne District." ENDS

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