By Dan Walsh at Wexford County Council Meeting
Three angry residents from Ballyminaun Hill, near Gorey, were guests at the rear of the chamber at Monday’s monthly meeting of Wexford County Council where Cllr Joe Sullivan raised a number of issues relating to an obnoxious smell from a compost plant and asked the Executive “What can you tell these people who continue to live with it?”
Cllr Sullivan asked what was the implications for children, people in the neighbourhood trying to dry clothes, having a normal outdoors existence, which everybody is entitled to, not to mention a devaluation of property in the area?
Submissions were made by the plant owner in 2012 and 2017 and an extension to the chimney stack was added but the smell persists, and the neighbours have resorted to public protest and are calling for a quick solution to a long-standing problem.
CEO, Tom Enright told the members that Wexford County Council was aware of the situation at the mushroom compost site and indicated that there is a proposal by the owners for an alternative system. Mr Enright was assured of “the goodwill to get the matter resolved and find a good technical solution.”
Cllr Sullivan said it was time for Wexford County Council and the EPA to get together and make a move!
Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin supported Cllr Sullivan and stated that the Ballyminaun smell affects the school’s environment in Gorey town where there are over 1,000 students.
Cllr Diarmuid Devereux, who told the members that he lives in the area, was critical of the compost plant owners and their lack of communication with the neighbouring households and outlined that in 2012 planning permission was granted to deal with the problem.
“It’s appalling, nobody should have to put up with that stink” and he added it is not about conflict between the jobs and people’s wellbeing – it is possible for a trap and hold system in a confined space – it has been going on for ten years and he concluded “while the company representatives will talk to the Executive they will not speak with the neighbours.”