FINGAL COUNTY Council will submit documents objecting to the granting of a waste licence by the EPA to a controversial toxic ash dump in the Naul. A consultants report prepared for the council's objection to planning permission being granted for the same development is likely to be forwarded to the EPA after a split vote among local councillors.
The council objected strongly to the development getting planning permission but its objections fell on deaf ears when An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the toxic waste facility at the Nag's Head to be run by Murphy Environmental.
Cllr Ciaran Byrne (Lab) asked that the council repeat its objections as the project comes before the EPA for the approval of a waste licence. He said that the council's previous evaluation of the project had been ' absolutely scathing' and it should object in the strongest possible terms to the waste licence. County management said it had objected to the project's planning permission on several grounds and although it said many of those reasons are not relevant to the issues being considered by the EPA, it would submit its consultant's report to the agency if the elected members wished it to.
Cllr Byrne said that it was 'grossly unfair' to ask a community which is already threatened with a landfill facility at the Nevitt to put up with a second site within a mile of that project. The Labour councillor said that it was against ' the principles of fairness and equality' to site the two projects side by side and said he would personally submit an objection to the plan on top of anything the council may do. But Cllr May McKeon (NP) said she opposed Cllr Byrne's motion. She said that councillors had a chance to object at the planning stage of the project and that process was now complete. She said she was 'dissapointed' that objections to the waste licence were being raised at 'this late stage'.
Cllr Anne Devitt (FG) was also opposed to the motion, saying that the facility would be run by a ' tried and tested operator who lives in our area and is providing employment locally'. She said that the EPA will not grant a licence for the project unless they believe it is ' the proper precautions have been put in place and it is safe'. The Fine Gael councillor said the council should not interfere in the process and it would ' show Fingal County Council in a bad light not to be trusting the EPA to follow proper procedures in granting this licence'. When Cllr Byrne's motion was put to a vote at the Balbriggan/Swords Area Committee, four councillors voted for the motion to object to the licence, with three voting against and one abstention.