MLAs oppose proposed asbestos facility in west Belfast


A number of Assembly members said they were strongly opposed to plans for an asbestos storage facility to be located in west Belfast, on 21 May 2013.

Sinn Fein MLA Rosie McCorley tabled the matter in an Assembly adjournment debate.

She referred to a planning application submitted by Whitemountain Quarries Limited to store and treat, what she called, "potentially deadly materials" in their landfill site at the Black Mountain quarry on the Upper Springfield Road.

Ms McCorley explained the application was for storage of 250 tonnes and said the hazardous materials would be stored in sealed containers.

She said that despite this, she was concerned for the health implications such a decision would have on the densely populated area in which it was located.

The West Belfast MLA said local people were "alarmed" at the proposals.

Her party colleague, Sue Ramsey, said that if planning permission were granted, hazardous material would be brought to a landfill site and would erode the Black Mountain further.

The MLA, who also chairs the Health Committee, also said she had health concerns and asked the environment minister if there had been any assessment on any impacts quarrying the area had had on local people.

Responding to the debate, Environment Minister Alex Attwood said this was a live planning application so he had to make sure that he did not say anything to "derail good practice or process".

He said he shared the "huge concerns which had arisen in respect of this planning application".

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