Concerns after energy presentation

An aerial view of Islandmagee.
An aerial view of Islandmagee.

DUP councillors Gregg McKeen and Paul Reid have issued a joint statement following a meeting with Islandmagee Community Association and attending a presentation by Islandmagee Energy over the planned gas storage project under Larne Lough.

They said: “It is important that the company engage with the community to listen to the issues which people have raised and address those concerns.

“However, it is also essential that all of the public bodies responsible for examining this project should investigate thoroughly the matters which have been brought up, especially the environmental concerns about the impact of any discharge of brine.

“The council have already invested heavily in promoting tourism in the area and it is important that any development should not jeopardise this investment.

“There is always a balance to be struck between the strategic energy needs of the country, employment which is generated by new projects and the impact which major projects such as this have on local communities.”

Ulster Unionist councillor Mark McKinty also attended the presentation.

He said: “I was critical of the original decision to award planning permission to the above ground aspects of the application in 2012,” he stressed.

He also expressed concern over the potential dispersal of what he described as “intense saline water” into the sea.

“I remain profoundly opposed to any energy project on Islandmagee which will in any way damage the environment,” he said.