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Double standards and hypocrisy on incinerator

The decision of Environment Minister Edwin Poots regarding the proposal for an incinerator at Glenavy smacks of double standards and hypocrisy.

He claims that he took the right decision because to put this planning application to a public enquiry would have taken up to two years before it would be held.

How can Edwin Poots justify refusing to put this incinerator plant to a public inquiry - yet allow public inquiries into an extension to the runway at Belfast City Airport, the cross-border electricity interconnector and the John Lewis store in Lisburn?

In all of these planning applications there has been strong local objections and, quite rightly, a public enquiry allows those opposed and in favour to present their case.

Rather than refuse public enquiries because of the length of time it will take for them to be held, the minister needs to address the reasons why there is not an efficient and effective system in place to cope with dealing with major planning applications.

Edwin Poots needs to put the Glenavy planning application to a public inquiry. This incinerator has generated the largest amount of objections in the history of planning here, yet local residents have been denied the opportunity to put their case. Local objections to the extension of a runway at Belfast City Airport generated 2,000 objections, while Rose Energy's incinerator prompted 7,000 objections.

This clearly demonstrates that there is huge opposition from the local community in Glenavy to the building of this incinerator.

PAUL BUTLER (SINN FEIN)

MLA for Lagan Valley

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