3 March 2005 Edition

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Crumlin residents oppose asbestos plant

The decision by NIO Minister Angela Smith to give the go ahead for an asbestos storage plant in Crumlin, County Antrim, has put the health of children and villagers at risk, say campaigners opposed to the project.

On Wednesday 23 February, the British environment minister announced that the planning application for an asbestos storage facility at Crosshill Quarry had been approved.

Residents are vehemently opposed to the plans by Eastwood Environ Waste to use the site to store hazardous waste. And now angry villagers, backed by local politicians of all parties, say they will fight to stop the proposed dump from going ahead.

The planning application was originally submitted in November 2003 but faced considerable opposition by residents, who lobbied local politicians and sent a petition to the European Parliment.

Smith said she was satisfied there was no environmental reasons to withhold or refuse planning permission. Smith further enraged residents when she dismissed their concerns as "disproportionate and unnecessary".

"This decision to site an asbestos facility so close to a highly populated area is sheer madness," said Sinn Féin Councillor Martin Meehan. "There is no reason to bring asbestos into this area and this decision is based on financial and commercial reasons rather on the health of residents."


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