No approval yet for chicken-waste plant

Great article from today’s Irish News on Rose Energy’s failure to secure planning approval for the Glenavy incinerator a year after former minister Edwin Poots indicated his intention to approve planning.

The controversial chicken waste-burning power plant on the shores of Lough Neagh has yet to secure planning approval a year after former environment minister Edwin Poots indicated that the go-ahead would be given. Coupled with new environment minister Alex Attwood’s assurances that he will re-examine the application, the revelation raises fresh doubts over Rose Energy’s plans to build the incinerator near Glenavy in Co Antrim.

A year ago yesterday amid mounting pressure from the north’s powerful farming and agribusiness lobby, Mr Poots outlined his support for the loughside development. Although there was widespread expectation that the plans would go to public inquiry, a statement issued by Mr Poots’s department said it was the DUP minister’s intention to approve plans for the 30 megawatt waste-to-energy plant.

He claimed the project would create “in the region of 300 to 400 construction jobs” and up to 30 permanent jobs once operational. Mr Poots said the north’s poultry industry was important for the economy.

Rose Energy, a joint venture between Brazilian-owned poultry processor Moy Park and livestock rendering company Glenfarm Holdings, claim the plant will help the north comply with environmental regulations. Recent pollution-curbing legislation means there are greater controls on how potentially harmful animal waste generated by farmers and agribusinesses can be disposed of.

Rose Energy believes the solution is to burn it – including excrement and bones – and create enough electricity to power 25,000 homes in the process. But its plans have been met with fierce opposition from residents. Last night Communities Against the Lough Neagh Incinerator (Calni) welcomed confirmation that the Rose Energy planning application had never been formally approved.

Calni chairman Ray Clarke said it was a “significant milestone” in the group’s ongoing campaign of opposition. Highlighting how almost 7,000 people had objected to the incinerator, Mr Clarke reiterated his call for a public inquiry. “Calni remains steadfast in its belief that this application is one of the worst ever submitted in Northern Ireland and that it should be refused outright,” he said.

In July the Irish News revealed how Mr Poots ignored the opinion of senior planners when granting the go-ahead for a controversial out of-town superstore in Co Down. Planning Service’s strategic projects
team recommended refusing the application for a 10,000sq m Tesco store at Bridgewater Park near Banbridge because it would damage trade in the town. Mr Poots gave the green light for the store in
March just minutes before leaving the Department of Environment ahead of the elections.

A previous bid to build a Tesco store at the same site had been dismissed two years earlier following a public inquiry. Last night a spokesman for the DoE told The Irish News: “As the consultation process on the two planning applications is ongoing the department is not yet in a position to make a recommendation on the way forward.

“When all material planning matters have been fully considered the department will make a recommendation to the minister on whether to proceed by way of a notice of opinion to approve or refuse the application, or by way of a public inquiry.”

“As the consultation process on the two planning applications is ongoing the department is not yet in a position to make a recommendation on the way forward. When all material planning matters have been
fully considered the department will make a recommendation to the minister on whether to proceed by way of a notice of opinion to approve or refuse the application or by way of a public inquiry.”

This entry was posted in Press, Press Cover. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.