Internal inquiry ordered over plans for Derry waste plant

The Department of the Environment has ordered an internal investigation into why the public was not informed of planning approval for a major waste processing plant near Londonderry.

The plant, which could cost up to £500m to build, was given the go-ahead at Strathfoyle in September 2011.

However, notification of this did not appear in the press until this year.

Objectors said they had been denied the right to legally challenge the decision.

According to the regulations, members of the public should have been informed at the time of the decision.

But the notification appeared in the media almost 18 months after the planners had approved the scheme.

Objectors said that by time the advert did appear, the deadline for a legal challenge had passed.

The top civil servant at the Department of the Environment has now ordered an inquiry to find out what went wrong.

The DoE said that failing to notify the public in time was an "administrative oversight" which has "no bearing on the original decision to grant the approval".