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Campaign opposing Coleraine ‘super-dump’ gets European hearing

29 September, 2009


Arguments against the controversial siting of four waste management operations, including a seven council super-dump, around the village of Ringsend outside Coleraine, Co Derry will be brought to the heart of Brussels this Thursday, October 1st.

Sinn Féin councillor Billy Leonard has successfully brought the case to the attention of the European Parliament Petitions Committee. He will address the committee in Brussels this week on the failure to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment at one site and to measure the combined effect of the dumps on such a small community.

Within the area, residents have had very bad experiences with the existing landfill site, yet are faced with a number of new proposals including the application for the super-dump. This is being handled in a piecemeal way without any overview of the impact of a cluster of landfill sites on the one area.

Councillor Leonard said:

“There is huge anger and widespread concern across this community about the impact of this proposed super-dump and the accumulative effect of concentrating all of these sites within such a small area.

“There is also a frustration at the way the Department of Environment has handled this application and ignored the legitimate concerns of local residents. The DoE has failed this small community who believe if all the plans go forward their village and surrounding area will change forever.

“The Department of Environment should have insisted that an Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out as a very controversial dump re-opened after legal proceedings against the previous owner: they didn’t.

“This is an important example of how a local community can engage directly with the EU by bringing this very local issue to Brussels.

“Bairbre de Brún MEP has played a significant role in the process of bringing this petition to the European Parliaments Petitions Committee.

“The campaign is looking to the EU to act in accordance to their own Directives on waste management and to hold our local Department of Environment to account.

“The present owner of this same dump has now applied for a significant increase in the types and volume of waste it can accept. The Department should insist on a full planning application: they won’t. They should have a robust way of assessing how all the dumps will affect the community in accordance with EU Directives: they haven’t.

“I will be putting that case to the Petitions Committee on behalf of the local community and asking them to look further into the entire affair. If they agree to do that it will be a very significant step forward.”

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