Agenda and minutes

Venue: Great Hall, City Hall

Contact: Louise McLornan, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item




            Apologies for inability to attend were reported on behalf of Councillors Brooks, Matt Collins, Hutchinson, Maskey, McMullan and Whyte. 



Declarations of Interest


            Councillor O’Hara declared an interest in Item 2a - LA04/2019/1540/F, in that he was on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners as a political appointment and that it had objected to the application. He advised that, as it was a Council appointment and he did not have a pecuniary interest, he could fully participate in the discussion on the item.



Planning Application


(Reconsidered Item) 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 pump house, 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 (Further Environmental Information-addendum to Environmental Statement) pdf icon PDF 1 MB


            The Chairperson advised that, whilst both the agent/applicant and the objectors had already addressed the Committee in relation to this application, a request had been submitted to address the Committee again under exceptional circumstances. 


            Moved by Councillor Garrett and

            Seconded by Councillor Murphy,


                  That the Committee agrees to refuse the request for additional speaking rights on the basis that deputations had been heard on a number of occasions, and that it was unlikely that any further information would be provided that would have an impact the Committee’s ability to make a decision on the application. 


            On a vote, 5 Members voted for the proposal and 3 against, and it was accordingly declared carried.


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0     Background


1.1       Addendum Report 3 should be read in conjunction with Addendum Report 2 (April 2021), Pre-Determination Report (February 2021), Addendum Report 1 (January 2021) and original Committee report (August 2020), together with associated Late Items. These reports are appended.


1.2       At the April 2021 Planning Committee, Members agreed to defer consideration of the application and asked that officers draw up planning reasons for refusal based on the following concerns:


·        That the proposed development is incompatible with adjacent land uses and is contrary to Policy WM1 of Planning Policy Statement 11, in that it is incompatible with the character of the surrounding area and adjacent land uses, namely with the adjacent film studios and its expansion and also with the GPBL proposals; and

·        That the film studio extension has been built in the zone which was zoned for Waste Management in the Masterplan, and that the waste management element therefore no longer existed.


1.3       The following report sets out planning refusal reasons based on the above, including consideration of those reasons and officer recommendation.


2.0       Refusal Reason 1 – incompatibility with film studios

and GPBL proposals


2.1       The Planning Committee is concerned about the compatibility of the proposed CAD facility with two receptors: the film studios to the east; and the GPBL proposals for mixed use development to the north and west. The impact on each is dealt with in turn.

Compatibility with the film studios


2.2       The film studios are located to the east of the site. Phase 1 was granted planning permission in 2016 (LA04/2015/1605/F) and has since been implemented. Phase 2 was granted permission in 2020 (LA04/2020/0474/F) and has yet to be constructed. An application to vary the conditions under permission LA04/2020/0474/F was validated in May 2021 and is scheduled for the Planning Committee on 19 August 2021 (LA04/2021/1358/F).


2.3       In October 2020, the applicant submitted Addendum 2 to its Environmental Statement. This dealt with the cumulative impact of the proposed CAD facility with the addition of Phase 2 of the film studios. The Environmental Statement (ES) dealt with a range of environmental considerations, both during construction and operation, including but not limited to air quality and odour; noise and vibration; and lighting. The Council’s Environmental Health team assessed the ES and provided specialist advice to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2a