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Lisburn quarry scheme refused by Department for Infrastructure officials

Words: Roger Milne
Grit stone quarry / iStock-802685192

Full planning permission for a large quarry on land between the Saintfield Road and the Creevy Road near Lisburn, in County Down, has been refused by officials from the Department for Infrastructure because of noise and amenity issues.

The regionally significant application, which normally would have been determined by ministers, was for the excavation of 500,000 tonnes of gritstone a year from a 9.6-hectare area by drilling and blasting.

The proposal also involved a new access road, a compound area with car parking and the formation of visual screening bunds with flooding of the quarry void at the end of 20-year extraction period to form a lake.

The department’s decision was in line with the recommendation of the Planning Appeals Commission, which held a public local inquiry into the proposal last spring.

The commission concluded that the economic benefits of the proposal from Conexpo NI did not outweigh or override the environmental objections posed by the project.

In a statement, the department stressed it recognised “its statutory duty to process planning applications and reach decisions on planning-related matters. On that basis, the department believes that it is in the public interest to take this decision without further delay”.

Image credit | iStock