Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Residents rule as landfill site proposal is dumped

In the wake of vociferous opposition to a proposed waste facility in Newtownhamilton, Newry Mourne and Down District Council has agreed to scrap plans to develop the site on the Newry Road.

The former landfill site is to be removed after the Council took on board concerns raised by more than 1400 residents.

At a meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s Strategy Policy and Resources (SPR) Committee on Thursday, it was agreed to completely remove the site altogether.

Originally a peat bog where residents of the town were given plots to cut, the site turned into an unregulated dump before being shut down in the late 1990s.  Since then, it has lain untouched.

In 2015, the Council planned to erect a wind turbine on the site, but planning was withdrawn due to public outcry and the prospect of decontaminating the seven-acre site.

Following Thursday’s decision, Sinn Fein councillor Barra O’Muiri expressed his delight that the facility is to be removed and the lands remediated.

“A good result for the 1,400 residents who signed petitions to protect this toxic land that has been under dispute for more than 20 years. I will always stand up for the people,” he said.

SDLP councillor Pete Byrne added: “SDLP have backed a proposal to reject an application for the lease of land at the Newtown Refuse site for a waste management/storage facility.  The will of the people has been heard loud and clear and now at SPR Committee, action has been taken to bring this issue to an end.”