Macosquin residents furious over ‘superdump’
Angry residents of Macosquin have vowed to seek a judicial review of Environment Minister Edwin Poots’s decision to give the green light to plans for a controversial ‘superdump’.
Almost 2,000 objections were lodged to the plan from the North West Region Waste Management Group (NWRWMG) to dispose of rubbish from seven north west councils at the new landfill site at Cam Road.
Residents had argued that the dump will be a blight in the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and will affect water for people living in the area, who rely on boreholes.
But Mr Poots indicated he would approve the plans without the need for a public inquiry.
The application was lodged by NWRWMG and the dump will be operated by quarry owners B Mullan & Sons. Mr Poots said the choice of the landfill site was a NWRWMG decision.
“The whole NWRWMG engaged in a procurement procedure with the concerned parties,” he said. “This was to go ahead if planning conditions were met so the position I'm in is to give the green light to something that meets the criteria.”
However, Sarah Mullan of the Ringsend Residents Group said locals had asked for an Article 31 application to investigate the procurement process.
“What happened was that he came on the radio and said his hands were tied because NWRWMG had instigated a process where they approved a site,” she said. “There were objections and we were asking for a public inquiry into how this site was selected. We feel the minister has shirked his responsibility.
“We met with him on a number of occasions and we thought he understood what we were asking for — we feel very let down.”
Resident Patsy Mullan said he was amazed that the minister was blaming the NWRWMG.
“It’s his decision, his call. Everybody in the group feels angry.”
Mr Poots said: “I wouldn't describe the opposition as nimbyism, but most people wouldn't want a landfill beside them, but everyone puts their waste into bins.”