Agenda and minutes

Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item




            Apologies for inability to attend were reported from Councillors Brooks, Carson, Hanvey, Murphy and Nicholl.



Declarations of Interest


            No declarations of interest were recorded.



Pre Determination Hearing


LA04/2019/1540/F - Centralised Anaerobic Digestion (CAD) plant to include a bunded tank farm, (6no. digester tanks, 2no. buffer tanks. 1no. storage tank and associated pump rooms), biogas holder, biogas conditioning system, temperature control system, waste-water treatment plant (WWTP), motor circuit control room building, hot/cold water recovery system, feedstock reception and digestate treatment building, product storage building, odour control system and associated tanks, emergency gas flare, back-up boiler, administration/office building, car parking, 3no. weighbridges, fire water tank and pumphouse, pipelines to existing combined heat and power (CHP) plant engines, switchgear, earth bunding, 3no. accesses to existing Giant's Park Service road infrastructure and ancillary plant/site works pdf icon PDF 906 KB


The Planning Manager provided the background to the application and explained that it had been due to be considered by the Committee on 18th August 2020, but that it had been deferred due to correspondence received from an objector’s legal representative.  He explained that the Committee had undertaken a site visit in respect of the application in September 2020 and then, at its meeting on 19th January, 2021, the Committee had subsequently agreed to defer the application for further information on the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), which had been carried out by Shared Environmental Services (SES), and to hold a non-mandatory Pre Determination Hearing.


            He advised the Members that SES had completed the HRA in December 2020 but they had not submitted the HRA Appropriate Assessment to the Council until just before the Planning Committee meeting in January, 2021.  The Committee was advised that the HRA Appropriate Assessment had concluded that, provided the mitigation measures detailed in the assessment were conditioned in any planning approval, there would be no adverse effects on site integrity of the Belfast Lough Open Water SPA, Belfast Lough SPA/Ramsar site and East Coast (Northern Ireland) Marine Proposed SPA.


            The Committee was advised that the proposal was for a Central Anaerobic Digestion (CAD) facility capable of processing up to 99,999 tons of brown bin waste per year.  The Planning Manager explained that a CAD plant would turn household waste into gas, and then electricity, which would feed the adjacent Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and grid.  The Members were advised that it would produce 4.1MW renewable energy per annum.


            The Planning Manager outlined that the site was un-zoned “white land” within the Belfast Area Urban Plan (BUAP) 2001 and was located within the development limits of Belfast in the draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015 (dBMAP 2015) with a number of relevant zonings.  It was within BHA 05 - Mixed Use Site North Foreshore, within close proximity to a National Designated Site (Inner Belfast Lough Area of Special Scientific Interest), within close proximity to two European Designated Sites Belfast Lough Special Protection Area (SPA) and Belfast Lough Open SPA and it was within close proximity to an International Designated Site Belfast Lough Ramsar Site.


            The site was within Zoning BHA 07 Employment/Industry for North Foreshore in the draft BMAP 2004 and was within the mixed use site North Foreshore Zoning BHA 05 in draft BMAP 2015.  He explained that both zonings listed a number of Key Site Requirements (KSRs) and, given the advanced stage that draft BMAP 2015 had reached, it was considered to hold significant weight.


            The Committee was also advised that an overall Comprehensive Masterplan had been agreed by the DOE Planning Service in January 2010.  The Planning manager explained that the Masterplan recommended waste management facilities in the area and also promoted economic development on the site. It was therefore considered that the proposal complied with the overall aspiration of the Masterplan  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3a