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Hightown incinerator proposal refused planning permission

By Jonny Bell

Published 24/09/2015

An artist's impression of the facility.
An artist's impression of the facility.

A large scale multi-million pound incinerator plan has been refused planning permission.

Arc 21, which represents a number of councils and the Becon Consortium proposed to build a £250million incinerator and waste sorting plant in the Hightown Quarry on the Boghill Road in Newtownabbey.

The plant, which was to be similar in size to Wembley Stadium, would receive rubbish sort it into waste and recyclable material before burning the unusable material to generate electricity.

Those behind the plan claimed the plant's output could power around 30,000 homes a day.

At the time of its launch in March 2013, those behind the plan said the project could have an overall value of £1billion.

However, the plan faced huge public opposition with residents close to the site arguing the proposed location for the facility was inappropriate.

Thousands objected to the scheme.

On Thursday, the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan revealed he was refusing planning permission for the huge project.

The SDLP MLA said: "I consider this development for a residual waste treatment facility in the former Hightown Quarry of Boghill Road should be refused.

“I have carefully considered all the information before me. I have listened to the concerns of local people and their public representatives.

"To date there have been 3,526 objections and one petition of objection with 836 signatures."

He added: "I am committed to a policy of zero waste and have worked hard with councils to increase recycling rates. 

"I want this to continue. This development could result in an increased market for waste disposal and to maintain a facility such as this, in addition to the other approved waste facilities, could discourage recycling. 

"In that context I do not consider there to be any need for this proposal.”

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