March 2, 2023
MEP MacManus Raises Gort Biogas Plant In European Parliament

MEP MacManus Raises Gort Biogas Plant In European Parliament
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has raised the proposed Gort Biogas Plant in the European Parliament during a debate on the availability of fertilisers and biogas in the EU. The Midlands Northwest representative tabled an amendment to the resolution being debated calling for advance consultation with communities such as Gort where biogas plants are proposed. Furthermore MacManus has written to the European Commission outlining local concerns and asking them to investigate the proposed plant’s consistency with EU environmental directives.

Speaking after the debate, MEP MacManus said:
“A number of constituents in Gort and my Sinn Féin colleague in Galway East, Louis O’Hara, have raised concerns with me regarding the proposed biogas plant on the outskirts of the town. The local community have been fundraising for a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for the plant and I want to commend them for their efforts to halt this totally unsuitable development.”

“There is a long list of legitimate concerns if this proposed development goes ahead. The plant would be located only a few hundred metres from the town itself and very close to nearby homes. This raises health concerns about harmful emissions from the plant and the potential for pungent odours from the plant to be present in the town. It could have a devastating impact on the daily lives of people in the local community and poses a threat to the local environment given that the plant is located right beside the Gort River and nearby Special Areas of Conservation.”

“It is clear that there was no engagement with the local community before this development was proposed. Biogas has an important role to play in providing sustainable energy but it is vital that these plants are developed in appropriate locations and following consultation with local communities.”

“Therefore I tabled an amendment to a Resolution in the European Parliament which called on the Commission to boost the deployment of small and medium scale biogas plants. My amendment stated that any such deployment must be done with the consultation of our communities and I used the example of the proposed plant in Gort during the debate on the resolution in the Parliament. Unfortunately this amendment was defeated with some Fine Gael MEPs voting against it.”

“I have also written to the Commission outlining the concerns around this proposed development and asking them to investigate its consistency with EU environmental directives given the significant environmental concerns around this development.” 

“This development should not go ahead and I am hopeful that there will be a positive outcome to the judicial review being pursued by the local community. They have my full support and I will continue to work on this issue at European level in the time ahead.” ENDS

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