Dickson: Gas caverns decision is devastating for local area

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said the decision by DUP AERA Minister Edwin Poots to green light plans for under sea gas storage at Islandmagee as a ‘devastating blow’.

Speaking after the Marine Construction Licence for the Larne Lough area was granted, Mr Dickson said it was time for all local representatives to come together to stop the plans.

He added: “This move, which Minister Poots seems to have slipped out overnight, is a devastating blow for the area and all those who have kept this campaign at the forefront of people’s minds.

“The reverberations for the environment and wildlife could be considerable and yet it seems neither this, or the lack of local support for the issue has been taken into consideration.

“It is now time for local campaigners to regroup, to assess what can be done next and to come together to ensure our voice against this plan is strong. This must include all local representatives – this is about uniting to protect our wonderful area for future generations.

“This decision is only part one of the many hurdles those behind the scheme need to overcome before it can go ahead. Clearly today’s decision will be appealed, so there is still no certainty that this project will ever go ahead.”