Planning Portal

Three Major Landfill Applications Approved

Published on Thu, 24 Mar 2005
Environment Minister, Angela Smith, has signalled her Department’s intention to approve three regional landfill proposals to meet the urgent need for waste disposal facilities in the Belfast area and the eastern part of the Province.
The proposals are located at Cottonmount, Mallusk, in Newtownabbey, and quarries at Mullaghglass in the Belfast Hills and Aughrim near Lisburn.
The Minister said: “There is an urgent need for regional landfill facilities to provide capacity for municipal waste. Dargan Road, the existing regional facility, will close in May 2006.
“These proposals will provide capacity to meet disposal needs while the infrastructure for the major shift to waste recycling and recovery is developed. They will also help to create a competitive tendering situation in regard to the disposal of municipal waste.”
The Notice of Opinion to approve the application, subject to conditions, will be issued shortly.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Cottonmount and Mullaghglass planning applications have been in the system since the mid 1990s. They were held until the decision framework comprising the Waste Management Strategy, Waste Management Plans and Planning Policy Statement 11 on Planning and Waste Management was finally agreed and put in place at the end of 2002.
  2. Both applications had to be updated to comply with the EC Landfill Directive requirements. Together with the Aughrim quarry application that was submitted in 2002 it has taken just over two years to process these complex cases.
  3. Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control (IPPC) permits will have to be obtained prior to engineering of the potential replacement facilities.
  4. There is also a need to ensure a number of sites are available with planning permission to compete for contracts and so maintain reasonable charges.
  5. The next step will be for the operators to seek a permit under the IPPC regulations that have recently been introduced.
  6. Administered by DOE Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) these regulations mark a significant step towards tighter environmental regulation of sites involving fully engineered and contained landfills. Systems will be in place to control and manage emissions to air, land and water as well as monitoring systems to collect information on performance for management and regulation purposes.
  7. Aughrim is located 2 miles north of Lisburn City and 6 miles west of Belfast City in the Belfast Hills and comprises a total site area of 53.5 hectares. The development comprises a non-hazardous engineered landfill accepting up to 250,000 tonnes of municipal, commercial and industrial wastes per annum or 4.5 million tonnes in total over an 18 year lifespan. The development will also include green waste windrow composting facilities.
  8. Cottonmount is located approximately 12 miles north-west of Belfast City on the B95 Glengormley to Templepatrick Road. The development consists of an engineered landfill facility to accept non-hazardous municipal, commercial and industrial waste. Waste will be deposited at the site at a rate of 400,000 tonnes per annum over a lifespan of 12 years.
  9. Mullaghglass is located in the Belfast Hills, approximately 2.5 miles from Lisburn City. The development comprises an engineered landfill facility for the disposal of 200,000 tonnes of municipal waste per annum over a lifespan of 10 years.
  10. The proposals potentially meet the waste management needs identified in the arc21 Waste Management Plan (WMP) and are consistent with policy in the Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland, Planning Policy Statement 11 and the Waste Management Strategy (WMS).
  11. As required by the Landfill Directive, the proposals are for fully engineered and contained landfills with associated lined cells. EHS Waste Management and Contaminated Land staff are content that the three proposals can meet the requirements of the Directive at this stage. The detailed design and regulation of the day to day operation of each site e.g. regarding litter or odour is a matter for EHS and the permitting process.
  12. A common range of environmental concerns have been raised by objectors in relation to the three proposals and these have been considered through consultation with the various competent authorities and examination of the application details and accompanying environmental impact assessments.
  13. All three sites lie on or within the safety zone of Belfast International Airport in terms of bird strikes. The airport managment’s concerns have been addressed in each case by proposals for full netting of operational areas and monitoring of performance.
  14. In each case the proposal is for full planning permission and includes details of site infrastructure and landscaping. The Notices of Opinion to approve include a number of negative conditions requiring further design details including the netting of the site.
  15. Further details of the Aughrim and Cottonmount developments are available from Joanne Moran at Enviros Consulting Ltd., 1 Potters Quay, 5 Ravenhill Road, Belfast, tel. 028 9046 3565. Details of the Mullaghglass development can be obtained from Andrew Baskin of Kirk McClure Morton, Elmwood House, 74 Boucher Road, Belfast, tel. 028 9066 7914.
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