NI chicken waste incinerator battle rumbles on
Plans to build an incinerator to dispose of waste from Northern Ireland's chicken farms have once again been stalled, with the local council deciding not to decide on the latest application, and passing it up the chain to a public review.
The country is in danger of racking up substantial fines for failing to meet its requirements under the European Waste Directive if it does not find a new way to manage the waste from its poultry farms, the bulk of which currently goes to landfill.
But plans to build an incinerator close to Lough Neagh, County Antrim, have run into stiff opposition from local residents, who claim the environmental consequences of abstracting millions of litres of water per day to cool the plant would be unacceptable.
This week Lisburn City Council, the local planning authority, referred a revised application to public inquiry, passing the decision on to national experts.
The council did the same thing when it received the original application last year.
The would-be developer, Rose Energy, says the plant would convert chicken litter, meat and bonemeal into valuable energy, providing up to a third of Northern Ireland's total renewable energy.