Mullahoran residents in bid to stop sludge facility

A major fundraiser took place in the community centre in Mullahoran last Friday night to raise funds for the Erne Valley Concerned Residents.

A major fundraiser took place in the community centre in Mullahoran last Friday night to raise funds for the Erne Valley Concerned Residents.

The local group is in the final stages of preparing to lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanala, over the granting of planning permission by Cavan Co Council to Rodney Wilton, for the development of a municipal Sludge Composting Facility at Carnagh, Kilcogy along the Mullinalaghta/Mullahoran border.

The development which was granted planning permission on February 9, 2013 had seen numerous objections, from not just residents living in the locality, but also from Longford Co Council, The Inland Fisheries Board, An Taisce and the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS).

With 19 conditions attached to the permission, residents now say that Loch Gowna will become polluted, their water source contaminated, roads in the area will fall further into disrepair and families living closest to the facilty will be unable to tolerate the “stench”. They also claim that Cavan Co Council failed to factor in their concerns when making the decision in the first instance, and pointed to the fact, that, the area is not suitable to a sludge facility - such as the propsed development.

“We are very concerned about flooding, odour, further disrepair to local roads, not to mention our worries for the future of both our water supply and the survival of fish and other flora and fauna in this area,” Erne Valley Concerned Residents PRO, Bob Boden explained further. “We understand that planning permission has now been granted with conditions; but none of our concerns have been addressed and aside from that – we believe that placing a facility such as this in that location, is quite simply, too dangerous. We are appealing the decision to An Bord Pleanala, and that is going to cost money, so we have started to fundraise by holding a quiz night in the local community centre. The whole community is behind us on this one and we are not giving up.”

Meawhile the development which icludes a change of use and upgrading of the current “mushroom compost facility” to “a new advanced sewerage treatment unit” that makes way for the Sludge Composting Facility looks likey to go ahead despite the 19 conditions attached.

Some of the conditions include “all mitigation measures as outlined in the EIS submitted in the application shall be implemented in full; no landspreading of biosolids shall occur within Loch Gowna proposed Natural Heritage Area (NHA), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or proposed NHA or SAC” and “site preparation and construction work should adhere to best practive and should conform to the Inland Fisheries Ireland ‘requirments for the protection of Fisheries habitats during Construction and Development Works ant River Sites’”, to mention but a few.