Protecting the Future – An Addendum

In September 2008 we submitted a report, Protecting the Future, to Planning Service in response to the consultation being undertaken on the application (S/2008/0630F) submitted in June 2008 by Rose Energy for planning permission to build and operate an incinerator on a site near to Ulster Farm By Products (UFBP) on the Ballyvannon Road, Glenavy. The present paper is an addendum to our initial report.

In February 2009, Planning Service requested further information from the company on a number of matters contained in its initial application. Following this request, the company made a major change to one aspect of its application. It had initially proposed that the primary source of water for steam generation and cooling would be the aquifers below the site. But, as local residents had suggested on the basis of their own calculations as well as studies done in the area in the 1990s,1 the volume of water from these aquifers was insufficient. Hence the company is now proposing to draw water directly from Lough Neagh – a SPA, ASSI, and Ramsar site – and pipe it to the plant.

Faced with this new proposal, Planning Service requested that the company submit not only an Addendum to its initial Planning Application and Environmental Statement (ES) but also an Environmental Statement that would deal with the water abstraction facility and pipeline from Lough Neagh. The company submitted this document to Planning Service in June 2009.2 Much of the document is highly repetitive of the company’s initial submission and fails even to address, let alone answer, the criticisms we made of it in Protecting the Future (PTF). Little would be gained, however, by repeating all these criticisms here. Instead, we simply ask Planning Service, in considering the company’s ES:AR, to bear in mind the arguments we advanced in PTF together with the findings of the further expert studies that CALNI has commissioned on the following matters dealt with in our initial report: planning statements and policies; ecology; visual impact and massing, scale and design of buildings; roads and traffic; alternative technologies; and alternative sites. Planning Service has already received some of these studies, and the rest will follow shortly.

In this paper, therefore, we restrict ourselves to commenting on three topics:

  • The advantages of combined heat and power plants compared with power-only plants.
  • The volume and quality of poultry litter available in Northern Ireland.
  • BMAP Policy COU 7

Protecting The Future – An Addenum

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