DFI confirms intention to appeal the High Court judgement.
High Court overturns planning consent.
Full planning permission granted.
Antrim and Newtonabbey Borough Council defers decision again.
Antrim and Newtonabbey Borough Council defers its decision.
New date set for planning appeal hearing.
Date set for Planning Appeals Commission hearing.
Planning Appeals Commission to review application refusal.
arc21 to appeal against planning refusal.
Planning permission refused.
Unprecedented level of objections to the project received.
Planning application submitted.
Development of WtE, MBT, IBA treatment and fuel storage facilities.
arc21, the umbrella waste management body for 11 Councils in the East of Northern Ireland, intends to develop a £240 million mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant, a waste-to-energy (WtE) thermal treatment plant, an incinerator bottom ash (IBA) treatment facility, a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) bale storage building and a visitor centre at the Hightown Quarry site on the Boghill Road in Mallusk.
arc21 submitted a planning application for the development in March 2014. The project is to be undertaken by the Becon Consortium, led by E.ON Energy.
The proposed facilities will help arc21’s 11 Councils to not only meet their EU landfill reduction targets, but will also help increase overall recycling levels within the arc21 area by up to 10%.
It is anticipated that the plants will be constructed and in full operation within four years of securing planning and permitting consents. The first stage in construction activity will involve upgrading and improving the Boghill Road site.
The proposed MBT will have the capacity to accept and treat up to 300,000 tonnes of waste. However, based on the assumed waste composition and projected waste tonnages, the plant would be expected to treat approximately 245,000 tonnes per year. Materials such as metals, plastics and other recyclable products will be extracted from the waste at the mechanical treatment stage using automated separation equipment and manual hand picking. The organic rich material of the waste, remaining after recyclate extraction, is to be treated in the biodrying tunnels to reduce its mass and improve its calorific value. Following the MBT process, any material that cannot be recycled will be conveyed to the WtE plant as a RDF for recovery.
The proposed WtE plant will have a thermal capacity of 68 MWth and, based on assumed waste composition, is expected to accept and treat approximately 211,000 tonnes of waste per annum. The RDF generated in the MBT will be conveyed directly to the WtE bunker where it will be mixed with commercial and industrial waste to produce a homogenised fuel. The heat produced from the combustion of the fuel will be used primarily to generate electricity, of which approximately 14 MW will be exported to the grid. The ash generated in the WtE plant will be processed on-site to produce an aggregate for the construction industry. In addition to electricity export, up to 10 MW of the heat produced in the WtE plant can be used to supply potential heat off-take, which would support a variety of local industrial/commercial or residential uses.
Writing in the Belfast Telegraph on 20th March 2018, Indaver's Commercial Director, Jackie Keaney, revealed that Indaver is currently bidding to deliver the project.
On 24th September 2015, Northern Ireland's Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, announced that planning permission had been refused for arc21's proposed development. With 28 days to respond, members of arc21's joint committee met on 16th October 2015 to consider the notification in detail and agreed to submit an appeal to the Department of Environment contesting the Minister's decision. The decision was to be reviewed by the Planning Appeals Commission and a date for the full hearing, originally scheduled for 24th May 2016, was revised to 11th October.
On 3rd June 2016, Antrim and Newtonabbey Borough Council issued a statement that it had deferred its decision regarding the project in order to seek clarification about information received by the Council in respect of the project. This would enable Council Members to make a more fully informed decision in the best interests of its ratepayers. The Council also decided to remind arc21 that no hearing before the Planning Appeal Commission could proceed without the prior approval of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. The Council further agreed that arc21 be advised that, given that the procurement process and discussion about this project had gone on for some time, much of which pre-dated the establishment of the new Council, the Council’s legal advice was that it was an appropriate time to determine the Council’s commitment to the project. To facilitate this, the Council required arc21 to provide clarity around the following points in relation to the procurement exercise, specifically:
Duration of the contract;
Minimum guaranteed tonnages;
To provide clarity around certain other information as part of the process.
On 27th June 2016, a full meeting of the Antrim and Newtonabbey Borough Council again deferred making a decision on the project to await further details.
In April 2015, South Antrim MLA, Pam Cameron, called upon Durkan, to reject the planning application. The Minister acknowledged that 'unprecedented level of objections had been received from those opposed to the plans', but stressed that the final decision would not be determined by the level of opposition to the project.
On 13th September 2017, Northern Ireland's Department for Infrastructure (DFI) announced that full planning permission had been granted for the proposed development. However, on 14th May 2018, following a judicial review brought by NGO Noarc21, the High Court overturned the DFI's planning consent on the grounds that it should not have been granted by a civil servant in the absence of a ministerial appointment. arc21 is reported to be considering the judgement and will consult with its stakeholders, while remaining committed to the project. On 16th May, the DFI confirmed that it intends to appeal the High Court judgement.