UUP Alderman William King says that the approval of a wood energy plant in Cloughmills will have ‘huge benefits’ to the Causeway area.
He was speaking after last Wednesday’s planning meeting when Council approved the plant at Drumbare Road.
The plant will manufacture up to 60 tonnes of virgin timber pellets per year, for use as renewable fuel in domestic, commercial and small scale industrial combustion facilities.
The application was listed on the agenda as an approval by Planners.
The meeting was told that the application, if approved, would result in employment for around 80 people during the construction phase, and the employment of around 20 full time staff after construction.
There were two letters of support for the application, both from Cloughmills Community Action Team. Both referred to the creation of employment as well as promoting renewable energy.
Planning officer Shane Matters revealed that Coleraine Harbour would benefit from the application, as the harbour would be used to bring the wood needed for the plant in from Scotland.
UUP Alderman William King proposed the approval of the application and said: “This is a wonderful new venture for Northern Ireland. It is a much needed source of employment in this area.”
His proposal was seconded by DUP Alderman John Finlay. The committee unanimously backed the approval of the application.
Speaking to The Times after the meeting, Alderman King, who sits on Coleraine Harbour Commissioners said: “This application will result in another boat in the harbour in Coleraine, and that can only be good news for the whole of the Borough.
“I am very positive about this new plant and I hope that given time it will grow. Any application that promises employment can only be seen as a positive.”