First in a series of local community drop in sessions held within the Newtownabbey area – more planned after Easter.

The Becon Consortium, the organisation behind plans to develop new residual waste management infrastructure to help all 11 councils within the arc21 area meet their EU landfill diversion targets and manage waste in a more sustainable way, recently held the first in a series of local community drop in sessions within the Newtownabbey area.

Prior to the submission of a formal planning application in the autumn the Becon Consortium, backed by leading European energy company E.ON Energy from Waste, is undertaking a 12 week programme of extensive public consultation. This is designed to explain the proposals in detail, answer questions and offer the public and other stakeholders an opportunity to provide their feedback.

While further ‘drop in’ events taking place in both Antrim and Belfast this week, the Consortium are also planning another series within the Newtownabbey/Mallusk area to take place after the Easter break. To support the consultation programme, a project website has also been launched – which people can also use to provide feedback and ask questions. Further event details will be also made available on the website when confirmed.

Speaking about the first events, Ian Smith, Project Director, Becon Consortium said; “We have had a very successful first engagement with local residents and businesses and found their comments and feedback very helpful. Most of those who attended the exhibition and drop in sessions have told us they have left much better informed about our proposals. Our experience of delivering and operating 19 similar facilities across Europe tells us that it is vitally important to share as much information with people in advance of any planning application. We believe this is critical, so that local residents have time to understand the nature of the proposals and have their specific concerns addressed. For this project this is especially the case since many here will not be familiar with the proposed tried and tested technology that has been common practice across Europe for over 20 years.

“Throughout this consultation programme we are committed to informing people fully about our plans and answering as many questions as possible. We are also keen to listen to the views of local residents and will use their feedback to inform our planning application later in the year. We look forward to hosting more community information events in the local Newtownabbey/Mallusk area after the Easter break.”

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