Residents’ concern at waste plan

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A planning application has been submitted which would allow an anaerobic digester on the Moy Road to accept animal waste including carcasses.

Residents living close to the digester, which is located near 76 Moy Road, have received letters informing them of the proposal.

The plant, which attracted widespread local opposition when it opened five years ago, currently processes sludge, animal slurry, grass/maize silage, belly grass and waste eggs.

The latest proposal would allow it to accept animal blood and carcasses, hides, feathers, meat unfit for consumption and fish waste including carcasses.

A resident living close to the digester said the smell at the moment was in his opinion “desperate” without adding animal waste to the mix.

He explained, “There are times we can’t open the window. We put the washing out, then have to bring it in and wash it again.

“We feel we have enough to contend with here, with other waste facilities on the road.”

These include a recycling plant and the former Ballyfodrin tip which, although now closed, is still closely monitored by the council.

Another resident said, “This is a busy plant with tractors feeding the digester and then spreading the treated material on the land.

“There are already concerns about the volume of traffic and noxious smells. We feel this section of the Moy Road has become a dumping ground.

“It is also a densely populated rural area with Scotch Street just down the road together with housing developments.”

DUP MLA Sydney Anderson, who was closely involved in the issue when the digester was first proposed, said he was aware of concerns and said open and frank discussion was needed, to allay residents’ fears.

A spokesperson for ABC Council said, “Planning notified neighbours in the surrounding area of the application on March 16 and the planning authority are awaiting a comment from the statutory and non-statutory consultations.”

The proposal has also been submitted by Richard Hunniford, through Henry Marshall Brown Architectural Partnership.

Mr Hunniford said, “There will be no more waste in terms of quantity, it will be taking a different type of waste.” Asked about an increase in potential smells, he added that there were regulations the digester would be required to meet.

There were 469 objections to the anaerobic digester when it was first proposed in October 2010. However, the Hunniford family said the project would create and protect jobs, while being energy friendly.