A COMMUNITY group, Letterbreen and Mullaghdun Community Partnership, are objecting to a twin planning application by Acheson & Glover Ltd at Cleggan Quarry, Belcoo.
Planning Service has confirmed that the quarry is subject to two live planning applications, to regularise mineral development to the east of the existing permitted quarry site, and to extend the working life of the quarry.
This week, Fermanagh District Council said it was dealing with an increased number of complaints relating to dust and noise.
A spokesman for LAMP told the Herald it was objecting on the basis of the potential for water contamination and the threat to groundwater.
She added: “This area is highly fractured, springs have disappeared and the impact on groundwater is already very significant, including impacts from the watercourse that flows into the Republic of Ireland.
“We object on the basis of the impacts of this quarry on local amenity, especially noise, dust, visual impact and vehicle movements.
She submitted that an Environmental Impact Assessment was required for this quarrying activity and claimed this had not been submitted.
The spokesman for the Planning Service confirmed that an assessment is required under Regulation 10 of The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (NI) 2012, in order to determine whether a planning application requires to be accompanied by an environmental statement.
“This assessment has not yet been completed for these applications”.
The spokesman for LAMP said her members were also concerned that Fermanagh District Council responded to consultation (from the Planning Service) on the same day it was consulted to state that there were, “no environmental concerns”.
“Clearly, in our experience, this is far from the truth or reality suffered by so many in our community. We have many letters from people in our community about impacts from dust and noise.”
She went on: “We complained about our council’s response to the applications, and the (acting) chief executive replied on 14th of August 2014 to state: “It is important to note that the Council’s Environmental Health Department is a consultee regarding quarrying operations, but only has a role regarding noise, dust and light pollution.
“The other environmental considerations you mention are the responsibility of NIEA, not the Council.”
The deadline for responses to the two planning applications expired last Tuesday, 9th September.
Their reference numbers are – L/2013/0525/F, ie Regularisation of easterly extension to the existing quarry at Cleggan, Belcoo; and L/2013/0524/F, ie Development of Cleggan Quarry with non-compliance of conditions.
Article 28 of The Planning Order (NI) 1991 allows for a planning application to be made to allow a developer not to comply with a planning condition attached to an existing planning approval.
A spokesman for Fermanagh District Council told the Herald that, until recently, its Environmental Health Department had dealt with two complaints arising from the two quarries, including Cleggan, in Belcoo.
“We are now dealing with a few complaints which have just been lodged with us, to do with dust and noise, so the first thing we will do is to deal with the applicants themselves (Acheson & Glover) and see what the issues are.”
Depending where the dust arises from, the NI Environment Agency has a role to play.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere