SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has said that the decision by the Department for Infrastructure to appeal the decision on the Hightown Incinerator in order to seek clarity on the law in this case and other regionally significant planning applications is extremely worrying.
The former Environment Minister said: “The SDLP welcomed the recent court ruling that the decision to move forward with the controversial waste treatment facility in Hightown in the absence of political direction was considered unlawful.
“We will continue to stand with residents who have opposed plans for the incinerator since its infancy.
“However, Monday’s ruling by Justice Keenan has raised many questions around decision making in the absence of a Minister.
“A statement released earlier by the Head of the Civil Service, David Sterling, also seeking clarity around the powers of the civil service in the absence of a functioning Assembly sounds alarm bells that signify the dangerous position Sinn Féin and the DUP have led us in to.
“The SDLP have been consistently clear, that in order to resolve the ambiguity around these concerns, the British Government must convene the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference to agree a deal and bring forward a package of legislation to ensure Northern Ireland isn’t left in limbo.”