Wednesday 1 September 2010

Lagan Valley Greens condemn incinerator decision

The Lagan Valley Green Party has condemned the decision by Environment Minister Edwin Poots to recommend the planning application for a chicken waste incinerator on the shores of Lough Neagh.
Mr Conor Quinn, Chair of the Lagan Valley Greens, stated, “The refusal of the Minister to grant a public inquiry into this industrial complex in an Area of High Scenic Value beggars belief. This project has raised complex questions regarding location, technology and economics that require open investigation through a public inquiry. Portraying biomass incinerators as renewable energy does not reflect the uncertainty of the sustainability of the feedstock or fuel.  Having visited the site, I cannot think of a more unsuitable location for such an industrial complex. There are major questions over the impact the proposed facility will have on Lough Neagh through water abstraction. That such a project is not deemed viable without significant public subsidy should raise real concerns”.
Mr Quinn continued, “This decision would seem to have more to do with internal DUP politics than the concerns of residents. Having granted a public inquiry into the extension of the runway at Belfast City Airport, in Peter Robinson’s constituency, it appears that Mr Poots has felt compelled to expedite this project to compensate. Quite simply, this is the wrong technology, in the wrong location and with the wrong economics. Rather than listen to the voices of the 7,000 people that objected to the project, the Minister has bowed to powerful industrial and agricultural lobbies and adopted a ‘sweep under the carpet’ approach to the issue of poultry litter through large scale burning. The Green Party believes that innovative, smaller scale, sustainable solutions to the issue of poultry litter are available. Quite simply, this planning application should have been refused.”

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