North Antrim Alliance representative, Jayne Dunlop has voiced her opposition to the proposed mining of lignite in the Ballymoney area. Ms Dunlop said:
“This is a massive project covering some 5,000 acres of land and will involve the building of a power station onsite to burn the lignite. The lignite will be extracted in an open cast mine which will scar the countryside, destroy farmland and wildlife habitats, affect people living in or near the area, cause air and water pollution and has little economic return.
“This rape of our natural heritage offers only a quick fix remedy to electricity provision in the short-term but brings with it long-term environmental damage.”
Ms Dunlop said the plan was typical of the lack of any coherent environmental policy in Northern Ireland.
Ms Dunlop continued: “The Government itself had other options to reduce electricity costs just last week, such as the refinancing of long-term power station contracts in the new Energy Order.”
“Unfortunately for the consumer, that option was ignored, and provides an excellent example of why we need to get the Assembly back as soon as possible. By saddling us with the highest electricity costs in the UK and then doing nothing to bring them down except allow our landscape to be torn up, Direct Rule has let Northern Ireland down badly yet again.”
“I would urge the planners to reject this proposal outright as it is totally inappropriate for this area.”