News

Car crushing site in Kilkeel approved

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Car crushing site in Kilkeel approved thumbnailThe site suggested for the dismantling of End of Life Vehicles.

PLANNERS have approved a facility in Kilkeel to crush scrap vehicles despite issues over right of way access.

Known as a waste management facility for the dismantling of End of Life Vehicles (ELVs), it will be on a blockyard site off Newcastle Street.

There are objections and issues over right of way and access to the lane leading to the site but the planning committee concluded it was outside their remit to rule on these matters.

Councillors agreed with planners to approve this waste management facility on the yard which is currently used for making concrete blocks.

The planning committee of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council heard that there are civil matters proceeding over right of way to the site.

However, a planning officer told the committee that "issues around land ownership are civil matters, which go beyond the remit of planning legislation".

The application was before the council towards the end of last year and was deferred for a site visit. This happened on 15 November.

The purpose was to help familiarise councillors with the issues surrounding the site.

Planning officer Pat Rooney said additional submissions from objectors were "built on issues raised by the planning department when it was being processed" but they still "judged the application to be acceptable".

The objectors raised concerns over noise impact, effect on property values, potential pollution of the harbour area, additional traffic generated and use unsuitable within a residential area.

There were also concerns of land ownership and whether the owners of the site had the right to access the site over the objectors' property.

One objector said: "Residents feel we are being held to ransom by this application" and the "rights of residents have been overlooked".

“At no time have any of the residents given any permission to any business, before or now, to have any legal right of way to use that lane, so they are going over our property," the objector told the planning committee.

In relation to the right of access issue, the planning officer said "the council was satisfied that the challenge to the ownership has been addressed, that the applicant controls the land necessary to carry out the development, and that the interested parties have had a chance to have their say".

However the objector said that they have "never been informed".

Meanwhile, Mr Rooney said: "The concerns raised by objectors have been fully assessed and cannot be given determining weight."

The objectors also raised issue over the amount of tonnage that would be processed on a yearly basis.

However, the council responded saying it would add in a condition that only 5,400 tonnes of waste could be processed each year.

The objectors asked for the application to be deferred until the outcome of the civil proceedings are known.

However, Sinn Fein Councillor Willie Clarke said if they approve the application then if the civil matters are in favour of the objectors, "the application would be void anyway".

And it was revealed at the meeting by the chief planning officer Anthony McKay that councillors had received some correspondence in the post from an anonymous writer in relation to this application.

This objector raised concerns over the potential sale of motor parts from this location and there was a fear of fire risks and increase in traffic from this site.

“In this letter it questions the integrity of the planning committee and its officers, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and its officers and there were some references to other individuals," which Mr McKay said he would not read out as it was "not in the public interest to air".

“We will take further enquiries in council about how we deal with it," said Mr McKay.

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