Ards Alliance Councillor Kieran McCarthy has praised the residents of a County Down village for opposing a Department of the Environment plan to build a major sewage plant between Kircubbin and Greyabbey.
Alderman McCarthy, who is a member of the Stormont Talks Team and Strangford representative at the Northern Ireland Forum, claimed that residents from Kircubbin were “vehemently” opposed to the scheme.
The Kircubbin Councillor, who attended a special protest meeting at Downpatrick’s Rathkeltair House last Wednesday, insisted that concerned villagers would continue to oppose the plan from “every angle”.
Mr. McCarthy and Friends of The Earth representative Mr. Dennis Reid held a brief meeting with DoE officials at Rathkeltair House in Downpatrick last Wednesday and over 100 letters of objection and a petition with 200 names were presented to planners.
The Kircubbin delegation was also joined by around 100 of the village’s placard and banner weilding residents and school children.
Mr. McCarthy, who will be seeking clarification from the DoE at his next Council meeting, described his meeting with planners as “constructive”, but said that residents should continue with the fight to have the plans shelved.
Alderman McCarthy said: “I would like to commend the villagers from Kircubbin and the surrounding area for taking such a firm stand on this issue. Their level of support has been tremendous.
“I was surprised to see so many people at the protest meeting at the Planning Office in Downpatrick – it simply demonstrates the level of opposition that the plans have generated.
“Everyone from Kircubbin to the shores of Strangford Lough are determined to prevent this scheme from going ahead. If the plan goes ahead, then it will be very close to our homes, schools and play areas.
“And any tankers taking away sludge from the expanded sewage works will put the lives of the residents of Church Avenue, Church Grove and Boyd Avenue in jeopardy. However, villagers will also face environmental and noise problems.
“I understand that residents are determined to step up the pressure to have the plans abandoned and they have already gone back to the drawing board. I would also call on the DoE to go back to the drawing board and reinstate confidence among the villagers”.