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Kearney leads Sinn Féin delegation on Arc21 decision

18 September, 2017 - by Declan Kearney

 South Antrim Sinn Féin MLA, Declan Kearney has today led a party delegation in a meeting with Peter May, Permanent Secretary for the Department for Infrastructure to challenge the department’s decision to proceed with the controversial Hightown Incinerator plant.

Speaking following their meeting, Mr Kearney said:

“We have today made clear our opposition to the waste incinerator at Hightown and outlined our concerns about the serious impact this plant would have on the greater Hightown and Glengormley areas.

“The decision to approve the incinerator plans flies in the face of widespread community and political opposition. The serious risk to the local environment is well rehearsed, not least the repercussions for the health of the growing local population and the local infrastructure which it serves."

Regarding how the decision was arrived at, Mr Kearney said:

“There are also grave concerns about the nature and timing of the decision taken by Peter May. Questions arise about how such a major, controversial decision can be taken by a senior civil servant contrary to the united opposition of all local elected representatives and 4,000 objectors.

“We raised very serious political concerns about the process used to make this decision at this time.

“I am dissatisfied with the explanations offered by the Permanent Secretary and his staff and I intend to have further discussions this week on the situation.

“I advised the Permanent Secretary that this issue will continue to be revisited. I also told him that his decision was wrong and should be immediately revoked.”

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