A planning application for an energy from waste plant in Belfast has been refused planning permission by Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood.
Irish Recycling Services planned to build the facility on Ballyutoag Road in Belfast.
As the facility came under the Article 31 of the Planning (NI) Order, which made it designated as one of major importance. As a result, the application was dealt with by the Northern Ireland Department of Environment’s Strategic Planning Division.
Irish Recycling Services planned to build and energy from waste plant that would thermal process waste wood, non-recyclable fractions of commercial and industrial waste, as well as municipal solid waste.
It would have been connected to the electricity grid, as well as provide heat for ancillary greenhouses.
Alex Attwood said: “I have given very careful consideration to this proposal, interrogating all the issues and have concluded that it’s excessive scale and the resultant visual impact would be detrimental to the character of the surrounding countryside area.
“I am also aware that, in planning policy terms, the proposed development is not considered to be acceptable in this location and has the potential to give rise to adverse environmental impacts.
“Having carefully considered these matters and taking account of the views and concerns of the local community, I have decided to refuse planning permission.
“I am a firm supporter of EfW opportunities and of alternative, more environmentally sustainable energy plans.
“However, this proposal is sited in the wrong location, is in conflict with a range of planning needs, and the environmental benefits do not outweigh the potential harm to this rural area.”