Delegation meets Minister over Drumbo digester

Drumbo residents are opposed to an application for an anaerobic digester.
Drumbo residents are opposed to an application for an anaerobic digester.

Residents opposed to a proposed anaerobic digester in Drumbo village have voiced their concerns to the Environment Minister.

The local delegation, including DUP Assembly Members Paul Givan, Edwin Poots and Downshire Councillor Uel Mackin and representatives from Drumbo and District Community Association, met with Environment Minister Mark Durkan to express their opposition to the proposal.

Speaking after the meeting the political representatives said: “This application has caused huge concern for residents with approximately 300 individual letters of objection submitted to the Planning Service and over 400 people signing a petition in opposition to the proposal.

“Key areas that we feel are contrary to the letter and spirit of Planning Policies were highlighted.”

They continued: “We also raised concerns regarding the ineffectiveness of the public consultation process issued by the Department and that no attempt was or has been made to consult locally.”

The political representatives said: “For this plant to operate efficiently it would require in excess of 500 acres of land to provide resource material, however, only seven per cent is available on site. The majority of material required will be transported from other unidentified locations outside the Drumbo area.

“In addition, it is believed the local roads infrastructure is unsuitable for the volume and type of vehicle movements that is required and a considerable risk is therefore posed to public safety as well as damage to the residential amenity of the area.

“This particular application demonstrates no evidence of any economic or social benefits to the surrounding community which has a scheduled building and a historic monument nearby.”

Drumbo representatives commented: “We are very grateful to Councillor Uel Mackin and MLAs Edwin Poots and Paul Givan, for their strong representations to the Minister on behalf of the local community.

“We are particularly pleased that the meeting, which was arranged through their good offices, gave us the opportunity to put residents’ views directly to the Minister. It was clear to us that the Minister was genuinely interested in what we, and the public representatives, had to say.”