Grandmother tells eco-firm to ‘beet it’

A GRANDMOTHER of 27 from Maydown has objected on environmental and health grounds to a proposed new energy stock storage unit and told those behind the move to ‘beet it.’

Ecoventi Utilities Ltd. have applied for permission to establish an energy crop feedstock storage compound near the junction of the Maydown and Temple Roads.

For the moment the Bready firm wants to store ‘beet fodder’ only but if it gets the go ahead the compound will also be used to store ‘grass/silage’ in future.

A number of local residents have objected to the storage unit (capacity 32,760m3) suggesting it is part of a wider plan to build an energy-from-waste anaerobic digestion and Combined Heat and Power facility right beside their homes.

Last month at least four residents wrote to the local planning office to strongly object to the plant.

One - describing herself as grandmother to 27 grandchildren - wrote twice and explained it was a frequent occurrence for the young children of her own sons and daughters to be in the vicinity of her home.

Referring to drawings detailing a number of tanks that will be established as part of the new plans, she asked: “Will these vessels contain flammable gases?

“If they did I would expect the applicant to conduct a quantified risk assessments detailing the likelihood/consequence of an explosion in said vessels and their impact on my family/property before any planning applications are granted.”

She pointed out that: “The prevailing southwesterly wind would blow any gas release onto my property from the applicant’s facility.”

The same woman is also convinced the beet storage facility is part-and-parcel of an energy-from-waste scheme.

“Why would anyone build a storage bunker for an energy plant if they were not going to proceed to the next phase and build the energy plant itself?” she asked.

“I do not accept that Phase I is stand-alone. Phase I is inextricably linked to Phase II. Phase I exists only for Phase II,” she attested.

The woman also wrote of her ‘grave concern’ about the storage of degradable beet so close to her home.

“What environmental and health hazards would we be expected to endure if stored beyond accepted industry norms with regards to shelf life? Fumes, odours, vermin?” she suggested.

This grandmother of 27 was not the only person with concerns. A local couple also worried about ‘potential offensive smells’ and ‘flies.’

In their objection they stated: “We have been tortured with flies in the early part of the summer by issues arising in relation to the port.”

They also claimed the value of their property has been massively devalued since the port moved from the city centre to Lisahally.

“We are not unreasonable people. We simply want to enjoy our home but feel that further developments in this area are unwanted and will add to the current difficulties which we experience.”

Another local objector wrote: “I strongly object to this. This area has a substantial number of buildings, which store various materials and consumables, some of which cause constant pollution.”

He added: “Any further buildings will not only create more pollutions, smells and heavy traffic but also noise and congestion in an already heavily built up area.”

The application by Ecoventi is being handled by Clyde Shanks.

It relates to lands at 129 metres North West of 24 Maydown Road, Lisahally Port.

The application is for a “proposed energy crop feedstock storage compound (capacity 32,760 m3), interceptor, access and ancillary site works.

Ecological and drainage assessments have been submitted and consultations issued. The company says residents have nothing to fear, stating: “We are an open and transparent company and are happy to meet with any stakeholder who may wish to discuss the application.”