Council criticised over failure to debate landfill motion

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has been criticised for refusing to debate a motion that sought legal action against the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (NIEA) and the operators of a landfill site.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 3:00 pm
Councillor Gary McCleave
Councillor Gary McCleave

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has been criticised for refusing to debate a motion that sought legal action against the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (NIEA) and the operators of a landfill site.

People living near the Mullaghglass Landfill – including residents in Stoneyford and Lisburn – have campaigned for years to get rid of a foul odour that continues to make their lives a misery.

Councillor Gary McCleave said that he had requested that a motion be heard on the matter at the council’s next full meeting scheduled for April 27.

However, the Sinn Fein Cllr said that he was “disappointed” that the council had decided to ‘knock back the motion’.

He added that he felt that the authority was ‘failing’ the people of the entire district by ‘not holding the NIEA and Mullaghglass to account’.

“We have an onus to stand up for our citizens,” said Cllr McCleave. “What the residents have to go through on a daily basis because of the smell from that site is unreal.

“The smell has been really bad for a long time now and it’s about time that it’s sorted once and for all. This has gone on for far too long.

“The site should be closed immediately and there should be a full investigation carried out.”

A similar was motion was carried at a Belfast City Council meeting earlier this month.

BCC councillors unanimously agreed to prepare their own legal action against the NIEA and Alpha Resource Management on April 1.

When asked why the motion was refused, a spokesperson for the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council said: “This Notice of Motion was deemed to be ‘improper’ as the terms for consideration were not met in line with the council’s standing orders.

“Legal advice has verified this view.

“The council remains committed to resolving the concerns raised by local residents in relation to this matter.

“At the request of the council, regular multi-agency meetings involving the council, NIEA and PHA continue to occur with a view to reaching a successful outcome.”