Fury at new bid to build incinerator on outskirts of Belfast
A fresh row is brewing after a planning application was lodged for a controversial waste incinerator on the outskirts of Belfast.
The planning application has been lodged by arc21, which handles waste for 11 councils in the east of Northern Ireland.
It said the waste plant at the Hightown Quarry in Mallusk will allow these councils to meet their landfill targets.
The firm said the plant would represent an investment of £240m, create 340 permanent jobs and 455 in construction, and contribute more than £24m to the economy a year. Spokesman Ricky Burnett said: "The project contains a mix of technologies and facilities which will both increase recycling levels and divert residual waste from landfill.
"We are confident that the chosen site is well located for a development of this nature and that various relevant impact assessments confirm that to be the case."
At the Mallusk site, anything which can be recycled will be sorted out and the residue incinerated and used to heat water.
But Colin Buick from group No-arc21 said the proposal uses the wrong technology and is proposed in the wrong location.
"No matter how arc21 tries to package it, this project will have a detrimental impact on the entire area," he said.
"A project of this type should be sited in an industrial area with good infrastructure links, not on top of the Belfast Hills."
James Orr, director of Friends of the Earth in Northern Ireland, said toxins were released during the incineration process.
Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said air quality in Belfast is already poor, adding: "Add to this the predicted hundreds of lorry journeys each and every day through the heart of this community transporting large amounts of waste and it is clear that any incinerator is a bad idea."