Belfast Telegraph

Gold mine legal challenge put back until after the summer

Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

A High Court challenge to a planned gold mine and processing facility in Co Tyrone due to be heard today has been delayed until after the summer.

Greencastle, Rouskey and Gortin Concerned Community (GRG) was granted leave to seek a judicial review in March. The case is being taken against the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to examine a number of alleged flaws in the pre-application consultation process carried out by Canadian company Dalradian.

The 10,000 page planning application was lodged in November 2017. Dalradian claims its project will support 350 jobs and generate £750m over 25 years.

It's one of two judicial reviews being mounted by groups concerned over the project. Leave has also been granted for an application by a member of 'Save our Sperrins'. The success of either judicial review could potentially halt the plans to develop the gold mine.

And it could also hinder the bid to build a major processing plant and waste storage facility near the village of Greencastle. It's understood that the judicial review, which had been listed for June 19, will now take place in September. It comes just one week before DfI's appeal against last month's High Court ruling, which found that a senior civil servant did not have the power to approve the Mallusk incinerator without ministerial approval.

A DfI spokeswoman confirmed that while officials will continue to progress Dalradian's application, the department will not take any further decisions on regionally significant applications.

If the Court of Appeal upholds the High Court ruling next Monday, it could leave a series of regionally significant planning applications in limbo.

Belfast Telegraph