Whitehead residents turn out to show opposition to Cloghan Point proposals

Opposition in Whitehead to the Cloghan Point development proposal. Pic by Rachel Louise Photography.
Opposition in Whitehead to the Cloghan Point development proposal. Pic by Rachel Louise Photography.

Whitehead residents assembled at the shorefront on Saturday to show opposition to proposals for the development of Cloghan Point jetty.

They were joined by elected representatives from Alliance and DUP, Green Party and Ulster Unionist Party.

(From left) Gordon Lyons, MLA, Andy Glenn, of the No to Cloghan Point Campaign,  Cllr Robert Logan and Cllr. Gregg McKeen joined protestors in Whitehead. Pic by Rachel Louise Photography.

(From left) Gordon Lyons, MLA, Andy Glenn, of the No to Cloghan Point Campaign, Cllr Robert Logan and Cllr. Gregg McKeen joined protestors in Whitehead. Pic by Rachel Louise Photography.

They are opposed to the development of the oil terminal by Cookstown company LCC, owner of the Go petrol station chain.

A planning application is currently being considered by Mid and East Antrim Council for the redevelopment of the existing terminal, which has been operational since 1979, to an import, storage and distribution facility, incorporating petrol, gas oil and diesel.

The development would see the arrival of international oil tankers in Belfast Lough.

LCC Group bought the terminal from AES Kilroot in a multi-million pound deal in 2017.

A spokesperson for the ‘No to Cloghan Point’ Campaign said: “Whitehead is the gateway to the wonderful Antrim coast and has a growing reputation as a key hub for the rapidly growing tourist economy of the area, including the nearby Gobbins Path, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland, the proposed Game of Thrones attraction at Magheramorne and many more natural sights. All this could be under threat by LCC’s plans to industrialise the area by expanding the oil terminal into a distribution depot.”

Campaigners say that they are concerned about the potential damage the proposal could mean for “the economy, the local environment, and how the road network could cope with a substantial increase in traffic” suggesting that another oil terminal is “simply not needed in the midst of a climate crisis”.

A spokesperson for Cloghan Point Holdings said: “Cloghan Point Holdings Ltd submitted a planning application in December 2018 for the upgrade of their storage facility which has been operational since 1979.

“The existing terminal retains the necessary licences to operate and any additional licensing conditions necessary to maintain safety and protect the environment will be fully implemented by the operator.

“Throughout this planning process, Cloghan Point Holdings Ltd shall, at all times, be directed by the requirements of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the other participating authorities.

“This infrastructure investment will see a boost of £25 million to the local economy, alongside 250 construction jobs created, and once completed, a further 30 operational jobs. The Cloghan Point development team is committed to continued consultation during the planning application submission phase with both regulatory bodies and local residents.”