Friday 19 January 2018

Public anger at waste plant plan

Residents attend the meeting in Lusk to discuss the ‘anaerobic digestion’ waste treatment plant
Residents attend the meeting in Lusk to discuss the ‘anaerobic digestion’ waste treatment plant

John Manning

A PACKED public meeting in Lusk heard residents vent their anger against proposals to build an 'anaerobic digestion' waste treatment plant in the area as local opposition grows against the plans.

Residents are objecting to plans to build a facility at Regeens in Lusk that would treat agricultural and brown bag waste into biomass energy.

A local group opposing the project, Lusk Still Fighting Waste, convened a public meeting on the issue which saw around 300 locals turn out and state their opposition to the proposal.

Chairman of the group, John McLoughlin, told the Fingal Independent that 'the mood of the meeting was uniform in opposition to the proposed development'.

He added: 'There was a large number of contributions from the floor and every one of them articulated the view that this was not a good idea and that was backed by the local councillors at the meeting.'

A representative of the applicant behind the planning application for the project addressed the meeting, but according to the group chairman, his assurances about the project failed to satisfy locals and got a 'robust response' from the gathered audience.

Next Monday, June 16 is the deadline for the receipt of objections to the planning application and Lusk Still Fighting Waste are expecting a large number of objections to be filed by residents in Lusk.

The group itself will also file an objection and has engaged planning consultants to aid in the preparation of that submission to Fingal County Council planners who will decide whether or not, the planning application for the project is granted.

Mr McLoughlin said that anaerobic digestion as a way of turning waste into energy is a 'desirable technology' in many ways, but the location of this plant is wrong. 'It's the right idea in the wrong place,' he said.

Close to a village and on agricultural land, the protest group believe the proposal is wrong for the area and locals are concerned about the noise, odours, pollution and visual intrusion on the landscape, the facility might provide.

According to Mr McLoughlin, there was also a feeling at the meeting that 'once again, Lusk is being seen as a soft touch for the treatment of other people's waste', coming after successful local battles against a giant landfill and a regional sewage plant previously proposed for the area.

Alan Hartford has applied for planning permission for the development and in his planning application, ORS engineering consultants claim there is a need for this facility to prevent agricultural waste going to landfill.

The consultants claim the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the development of these kind of facilities and says there are processes in the proposed facility that will reduce any odours that might emanate from the plant.

Fingal Independent

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