Agenda item

Opposition to the Development of a Goldmine and Processing Plant in the Sperrins

Minutes:

Councillor McMahon Moved, Seconded by Councillor R McHugh

That    this Council opposes plans to develop a goldmine and processing plant LA10/2017/1249/F in the Sperrins and wider region.  Given the serious health and environmental risks involved, this Council is opposed to the use of cyanide for mining purposes, which also contravenes the European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2017 on the implementation of the Mining Waste Directive (2006/21/EC).

 

Alderman Thompson sought clarification on the matter as a planning application has been indicated in the body of the motion and stated that Members of the Planning Committee may have to declare an interest.

The Lead Legal Services Officer advised that this particular planning application was made to the Department of Environment, therefore the Council had no decision making function in respect of the application.

Alderman Devenney left at this point in the meeting.

Councillor Gallagher Proposed an Amendment, Seconded by Councillor Donnelly

That    this Council opposes plans to develop a goldmine and processing plant LA10/2017/1249/F in the Sperrins and wider region.  Given the serious health and environmental risks involved, this Council is opposed to the use of cyanide for mining purposes, which also contravenes the European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2017 on the implementation of the Mining Waste Directive (2006/21/EC).

           

This Council further opposes the current legislative practice in the North which allows prospective gold mining companies to undertake widespread exploratory drilling without the need for planning permission or consultation with the public.  This Council supports the call for communities in the Sperrins and across all other Council areas to remove these Permitted Development Rights from Part 16 of the Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015.

Councillor Jackson requested legal clarification on the Amendment and asked if it would apply to all permitted developments throughout the Sperrins or any other application.

In response, the Lead Legal Services Officer advised that the Amendment referred to Part 16 of the Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015 and part 16 of the schedule of that order dealt solely with mineral exploration and listed three specific types of development which can be carried out under permitted development for a period of four months or less – drilling, bore holes and carrying out site surveys for the meaning of excavations for the purposes of mineral exploration.

Councillor R McHugh outlined the Planning Legislation cited in the Amendment which, in his opinion would have implications for Members of the Planning Committee.

In response, the Lead Legal Services Officers stated that whilst he appreciated the point, in this instance the Amendment was specifically calling for a change to legislation which was an issue in the interim period that Council would have to be cognisant of the current legislation, therefore the Amendment held no implications for the Planning Committee at this time.

After voting on the Amendment by a show of hands the result were as follows:

For the Amendment -26; Against – 5; Abstentions -1.

The Amendment was therefore carried and became the Substantive Motion.

Councillor Gallagher Proposed, Seconded by Councillor Donnelly

That    this Council opposes plans to develop a goldmine and processing plant LA10/2017/1249/F in the Sperrins and wider region.  Given the serious health and environmental risks involved, this Council is opposed to the use of cyanide for mining purposes, which also contravenes the European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2017 on the implementation of the Mining Waste Directive (2006/21/EC).

           

This Council further opposes the current legislative practice in the North which allows prospective gold mining companies to undertake widespread exploratory drilling without the need for planning permission or consultation with the public.  This Council supports the call for communities in the Sperrins and across all other Council areas to remove these Permitted Development Rights from Part 16 of the Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015.

After voting by a show of hands on the Substantive Motion the results were as follows:

                        For – 26; Against – 5; Abstentions – 1. 

                        The Substantive Motion was therefore carried.

Subsequently Councillor Gallagher Proposed, Seconded by Councillor Donnelly and the Council

Resolved       That this Council opposes plans to develop a goldmine and processing plant LA10/2017/1249/F in the Sperrins and wider region.  Given the serious health and environmental risks involved, this Council is opposed to the use of cyanide for mining purposes, which also contravenes the European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2017 on the implementation of the Mining Waste Directive (2006/21/EC).

           

This Council further opposes the current legislative practice in the North which allows prospective gold mining companies to undertake widespread exploratory drilling without the need for planning permission or consultation with the public.  This Council supports the call for communities in the Sperrins and across all other Council areas to remove these Permitted Development Rights from Part 16 of the Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015.