More than 100 people turned up to a meeting last Friday night at Ballykelly GAA to discuss an application to build a composting facility nearby.
The planning application, in the name of Cleary Compost and Shredding Ltd, seeks to extend the size of their facility from 1.8 acres to 9.4 acres to process 22,000 tonnes of waste annually.
The current facility has been unpopular with locals because of smells from it. And there is concern at the potential effects on the water table.
The main point of opposition, and the likely argument in an objection to the application is that this is an unacceptably large operation for a rural area.
In particular, there is concern that the current road infrastructure is not suitable to handle the traffic.
Cllr. Martin Miley said a facility like this would be in breach of the County Development Plan and would therefore require councillors to vote on a material contravention of the plan.
As well as fearing for the effects of a composting facility nearby, locals are concerned at the role of Kildare County Council in all of this.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Sean O’Fearghail noted that, against the advice of the planner, the current facility had been deemed exempted from needing planning permission.
For that reason, there was a concern about who would not be involved in considering the latest planning application.
The meeting also heard that because the propsal is for less than 25,000 tonnes per annum, an environment impact assessment is not required.
- Conor McHugh