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Dalradian Gold Mine project will be subject of public inquiry - Hazzard

Thursday, 26 January 2017

INFRASTRUCTURE Minister, Chris Hazzard, has announced that any planning application for the Dalradian gold mining project outside Omagh will be the subject of an independent public inquiry.

"It is my understanding that a planning application for the Dalradian gold mine project at Greencastle, is likely to be submitted to my department in the next few months. If and when the application is submitted I have instructed my officials to make it the subject of an independent public inquiry at an appropriate stage in the planning process.

“It is clear to me that the planning application will be both complex and controversial involving a wide range of views and in depth information to assess the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of the proposed development.

“Before any decision is taken it would be beneficial to have a public inquiry and report which has independently considered the views of stakeholders, including the local community, and has scrutinised the information provided by all interested parties.

“The fact that I am minded to take this process route is without prejudice to the statutory planning process," he said.

Local MLA., Declan McAleer, who formally requested the Minister to carry out the inquiry said the proposal to construct a gold mine and processing plant had caused a great deal of anxiety in the area.

"People are greatly concerned about the impact of this development on their health and livelihoods. I have met the minister on many occasions to discuss the proposal and convey the concerns of local people.  

"I am glad that he has listened and has given assurance that a public inquiry will now take place to scrutinise this proposal," he said. 

Meanwhile, Dalradian has confirmed that a minor accident took place at their site on the Camcosy Road outside Rouskey on Friday afternoon. The incident caused quite a stir locally as a member of the Hazardous Area Response team, an officer, an Accident and Emergency Crew and a rapid response vehicle attended the scene. The injured man was taken to Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Londonderry.

Dalradian released a statement on the matter. It said: "On Friday, a contractor suffered a knee injury while working on site. Normal procedures were followed.  He received appropriate medical attention and was discharged from hospital later the same day."

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