The ‘Ballinasloe Says No’ group are urging members of the public to lodge submissions in respect of a new application for a permit to operate a waste transfer station in Ballinasloe before tomorrow, Friday, January 15.
The application is a follow-on in response to the relevant permit declined by Galway County Council in January 2020 and the successful win at the High Court on the previous infill permit in 2018 to build the waste transfer station at Poolboy, Ballinasloe.
Over 2,300 people in the local community of Ballinasloe lodged objections to the plans. Those objecting had serious concerns about the potential environmental impact because of the close proximity to low-lying areas of the River Suck.
The ‘Ballinasloe Says No’ group was formed in opposition to the plans because of these concerns, fears over air pollution and also because they state that the inappropriate location of a waste transfer station in Ballinasloe would force hundreds of 30 tonne trucks through the streets of the town. The application is available for public viewing at Galway County Council.
Dr Vincent Parsons, Chairperson of the ‘Ballinasloe Says No’ campaign, along with Senator Aisling Dolan, PRO and Secretary of the group and Dr Evelyn Parsons, Galway County Councillor have held zoom meetings with locals in East Galway on what they say would be the seriously worrying impact of this development on the health and safety of over 6,500 people in Ballinasloe town. The group says the structure would have a disastrous environmental impacts to the low-lying flood plains of the River Suck Callows.
Dr Vincent Parsons said the proposed site for a major waste facility in Ballinasloe is totally unsuitable on several grounds.
“It is adjacent to the old landfill which is in danger of being disturbed. Access is through the streets and residential areas. Trucks will pass by Portiuncula University Hospitals and schools. School children will be competing with 30 tonne trucks. The site is in close proximity to family homes and housing estates, many with young children. These waste facilities are associated with serious health hazards.”
“Online research highlights the increased incidence of cancers, birth defects and neuromuscular disorders. Respiratory disease such as bronchitis and asthma are more common. The proposed site is adjacent to the River Suck Callows, a designated SPA under European law which is also a feeding ground to several migratory Winter birds including protected species such as Whooper Swan and the Greenland white fronted Goose. The Callows are at serious risk of contamination from Leachate, pollutants and runoff from the waste,” Dr Parsons asserted.
Senator for Roscommon-Galway Aisling Dolan urged members of the public to lodge submissions against the waste transfer station.
“This is an inappropriate location for the facility, driving up to 30 tonne trucks through the centre of a town to access a site, past Portiuncula University Hospital, schools, playgrounds, estates. Ballinasloe is united in a vision for the future of our town to bring greenways, investment and jobs. We have had families contacting us that are concerned for their children, there are young people in Ballinasloe asking for safe places to walk and cycle and a park which was committed to by Galway County Council in the High Court order of 1999 after the last landfill in the area.”
“The community are uniting and making submissions talking about the pride in their town and vision for a safe and healthy future for the next generation. There is a lot of pride in the locality and individuals are also very supportive of the TII Greenway route corridors potentially coming through Ballinasloe. We are a community group representing Ballinasloe area and its people and we are fighting for the future of our town and we need the public to say no to this application,” Senator Dolan remarked.
Members of the public can lodge submissions online via Galwaycoco.ie or hand in submissions or post them to Galway County Council offices on Prospect Hill in Galway City before 5pm on January 15.