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Protest at west Belfast Quarry site over waste plans

Protesters outside the Blackmountain Quarry on the Upper Sprinfield Road in west Belfast, where the owners have applied for planning permisson to dump 300 tonnes of asbestos per year. Picture by Mal McCann.
Marie Louise McConville

A protest took place on the outskirts of west Belfast yesterday to call on a quarry company to withdraw a planning application to import, store and treat hazardous waste, including asbestos.

The protest, which was organised by Sinn Féin, took place at the Black Mountain Quarry site owned by Whitemountain on the Upper Springfield Road.

The application is due to go before planners at Belfast city council next month.

During the protest yesterday, Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey handed a letter into Whitemountain calling on them to withdraw the application.

He said the plans would have a "hugely detrimental effect upon west Belfast".

"People are very concerned with regards to all this toxic waste on their doorstep and what if there is an accident when waste is going in or out?" he said.

"This is a natural beauty spot in the heart of the Belfast Hills. The Belfast Hills is a popular walking destination for people from all over the city as well as the many tourists that flock to Belfast.

"This is totally unacceptable and we are calling on Whitemountain Quarries to withdraw their application and remove this threat to the local community and our environment".

Mr Maskey said "hundreds of people" had signed a petition opposing the application.

A spokesman for Whitemountain Quarries declined to comment on the issue.

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