Motion: DfI / PAC Public Inquiry on Dalradian
Council Meeting - 5th October 2021
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to the protection of our district and people, re-affirms its opposition to any threat to our area, our air, our water, the health of our community and to the toxic threat posed by the proposal to mine for gold in The Sperrins Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This Council now seeks urgent clarification from the Department for Infrastructure and from the Planning Appeals Commission on their proposals for enabling access to expert opinion and representation for the community in the forthcoming Public Inquiry on Dalradian’s Planning Application for a gold mine and processing plan; on Dalradian’s planning applications for heavy duty electricity lines from Artigarvan to Greencastle; on proposals by NIEA/DAERA to facilitate abstraction of water from the bogs, streams and burns for the mining operations, for discharge of toxic waste including heavy metals, acids, flocculants and other substances into protected waterways; on Roads Service’s proposal to abandon a section of public roadway and give it to Dalradian.
That this Council too, is conscious of the massive scale and technical complexity of the applications with so many individual aspects of it being (on their own) hugely complex and very risky for the highly sensitive environment of the Sperrins Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
That this Council, as the local authority for a large part of the Sperrins AONB, is mindful of the tens of thousands of objections and calls from people that the public inquiry must be seen to be an open and fair process: it is rightly asked,
“Who will speak for the streams and rivers?
Who will speak for the salmon, the fish, the otters and the uniquely endangered fresh water pearl mussels?
Who will speak for the children whose health and well-being would be put in jeopardy by such a proposal?”
That this Council, mindful of our added responsibility at this time when survival of the planet is endangered by pollution, calls for publication of the terms of reference of the Public Inquiry including guarantees that the rights of local people and their concerns are included, alongside details on how fair and proper funding and resources will be committed to and made available for protectors to ensure that this Public Inquiry is balanced, fair and transparent and that time and access to international expertise is facilitated to address fully all aspects of this complex series of environmentally high risk proposals.
Proposed by: Proposed by Councillor McAleer and seconded by Councillor Keenan