Tyre baling facility near Gleno ‘poses fire risk’

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PLANNERS have refused an application for a tyre baling facility, which has been operating at Waterfall Road near Gleno for the past year.

The retrospective application, by Mr Robert Blair, c/o Hoy Domian Ltd in Moira, was for a small-scale facility for the collection and baling of end-of-life tyres.

It is located at lands immediately south and east of 50 Waterfall Road.

But the Planning Service received 12 letters of objection to the proposal, with residents claiming they had been “suffering from the unapproved activities on the site”.

In a letter addressed to Larne Borough Council chief executive Geraldine McGahey, residents said there were tens of thousands of tyres being stored at the facility, which is located “in very close proximity to our properties”.

“The number of tyres currently in on the site greatly exceed the number referred to in the planning application,” they claimed.

“This rural location is clearly not an appropriate location for a business of this type,” the objectors stated.

“Furthermore, fires are regularly lit at this site, near to the location of the tyres. You can appreciate this creates a very real fire risk.”

The Planning Service also stated its concerns regarding the “high risk potential of uncontrolled fires” at the site. Planners also rejected the application on the grounds that the applicant had submitted “conflicting information” regarding the number of tyre bales that will be handled and stored on the site at any one time.

Other reasons for refusal included an “unacceptable impact on nearby residential property” and fears that the development was “likely to result in an unacceptable adverse impact on the environment”.

At the latest meeting of Larne Borough Council’s public services committee, Councillor Martin Wilson proposed that members accept the opinion of planners. He also asked if the applicant could be contacted to advise him of other suitable premises in the borough where he could potentially continue his tyre baling operation.

Councillor Brian Dunn seconded the proposal and said the application was “not suitable for a rural location”. The proposal was agreed by members.