Northern Ireland

Council to reconsider waste incinerator plan near Glengormley

An artist's impression of the proposed waste facility at a quarry on the outskirts of north Belfast Image copyright Becon Consortium
Image caption An artist's impression of the proposed waste facility at the Hightown Quarry on the outskirts of north Belfast

A council is to reconsider its commitment to a controversial waste incinerator plan in County Antrim.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has said its lawyers have advised that now is the time to review its position.

The council is one of six signed up to a waste incinerator that had its planning permission refused last year.

The plant, near Glengormley on the outskirts of Belfast, was to have dealt with black bin waste from all six council areas.

It was turned down by the then environment minister Mark H Durkan, on the grounds that it could discourage recycling and might pose a risk to health.

The consortium behind the plan has appealed the decision to the Planning Appeals Commission.

The five other councils have voted to support the appeal.

Decision

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council met on Thursday night to vote on its position.

The proposed recycling and incinerator plant is in its area.

It decided to defer its decision.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the council said it wanted new information about the duration of the contract and the tonnages of waste involved.

"This will allow the council to make a final decision as to whether the business case is in the best interests of our ratepayers," it said.

The council said that because much of the detail of the waste agreement had predated the formation of the new super councils, "the council's legal advice is that it is an appropriate time to determine the council's commitment to the project".

It concluded by saying that it believed the appeal could not proceed without the agreement of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

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