Plans by Newry based company Re-Gen to site a waste management facility at Warrenpoint Harbour have led to an online petition being set up asking the public to reject the proposal. The petition at present has over 1200 signatures.

Re-Gen have submitted an application for a Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Permit to NIEA for the operation of a waste management facility in the Harbour.

Warrenpoint Harbour. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Warrenpoint Harbour. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority have released the statement below:

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority would like to clarify that the proposal from Regen Waste to develop a new waste management facility at the Harbour will be subject to exactly the same rigorous processes, procedures and scrutiny as any other proposed development on the site.

In this instance, this will require the applicant to achieve the necessary permits and licenses from the NI Environment Agency, appropriate planning approval for the development and of course the approval of the Board of Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, if this project is to progress. At this stage the applicant is very much at the starting point of these processes and they do so entirely at their own risk. For our part we will continue to monitor closely how their plans progress.

Warrenpoint Harbour Authority remains fully committed to working with the community for the benefit of all our stakeholders. As such, we have encouraged the applicant to undertake a comprehensive community consultation exercise to ensure full transparency around this project and to give stakeholders an opportunity to have any concerns around this proposal addressed. We welcome their recent confirmation that this consultation programme will begin in the near future.

In a statement Re-Gen added An application has been submitted to NIEA that outlines how the facility will be developed and managed in accordance with best available techniques.

The facility would be regulated by the NIEA to ensure that the facility is being operated in a manner to mitigate any impact on the environment and residents in the area.

Once operational, NIEA would undertake regular site audits to ensure that the facility is being operated in a compliant and environmentally safe manner.
 
The firm added that the site would be purposely developed for the management of the proposed wastes.
 
South Down MP Chris Hazzard has welcomed confirmation from Re-Gen Waste that a comprehensive community consultation will take place this summer to examine the details of their proposals to establish a hazardous waste facility in Warrenpoint Harbour. 
 
“The local community has been increasingly concerned that plans to construct a hazardous waste facility in Warrenpoint were being advanced behind closed doors and hidden from public scrutiny. 
 
"Given the delicate environmental setting of Warrenpoint harbour on Carlingford Lough there are understandable fears that a hazardous waste plant would be hugely detrimental to the ecological wellbeing of the local area. 
 
“Having raised this issue with Re-Gen last week I welcome their confirmation that a comprehensive community consultation will take place this summer giving the local South Down and north Louth community the opportunity to scrutinise the proposal in full view of the facts."
 
The Petition can be viewed at www.change.org