Residents’ disappointment as Mullaghglass judicial review is dismissed

A group of RESIDENTS calling for the closure of the Mullaghglass landfill have expressed disappointment after a judicial review application was dismissed.

The High Court action brought by Noleen McAleenon sought action by the Environment Agency of Northern Ireland and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council to address and eradicate the smell.

The first hearings took place on April 7 and May 13. It was expected that a judgment would not be rendered until the fall.

Speaking after the judgment, Mairead Connolly of the Shut Down Mullaghglass Landfill campaign said: ‘It is extremely frustrating for Noleen and other residents that this case has been closed,’ she said.

“We are mostly frustrated with the time it has taken for action to be taken. Most of the evidence presented by the other parties is from 2021, but I myself know that my own complaint was originally filed in 2019.

“The fact that we had to go to court to even get things started was disappointing. It wasn’t until the pre-action protocol letters were submitted in January 2021 that things started to happen.

“We increased site visits and monitoring afterwards. It has been a long process and luckily the smell has been great lately and we only detected it a few times rather than that constant daily smell that plagued us.

“This judgment was disappointing, but the good thing is that we can now go out and enjoy our homes.”

Delivering his judgment, Justice Humphreys said: ‘A court of judicial review is not the forum to examine the detail of the complaints in terms of intensity or duration or the cause of the effect of the emissions on the life of the plaintiff. and other people.

“However, I am quite satisfied. Based on the evidence available, the applicant has met the minimum level of seriousness required to assert her rights under Article 8.

“The main conclusion of each of the respondents is that the levels of H2S emissions are not on the available evidence and taken into account by them, so as to require enforcement measures.

“The role of the court is to analyze whether this conclusion was reached as a result of due diligence and consideration of competing interests or whether there was a manifest error of assessment justifying the court’s interference in these material considerations.

“Obviously the applicant would like to have limits, standards or guidelines in place, but for site emissions to be measured.

“However, the evidence available to me indicates that no landfill in the UK operates with a particular H2S emission requirement or indicative figure in its permit,” he concluded.

Harry Robinson of Phoenix Law added: “This is a complex issue that may continue to pose a risk to the environment and the local residents for whom we act. We are therefore responsible for considering all possible remedies arising from today’s judgment.

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