HC Deb 11 February 1998 vol 306 cc359-60
3. Kate Hoey

If she will make a statement on her policy on waste disposal and recycling. [26867]

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. Paul Murphy)

The Government are currently preparing a waste strategy for Northern Ireland which will set out their long-term policies for waste management.

Kate Hoey

Is the Minister aware that the small landfill site at Cottonmount, Mallusk, and the huge extension planned both break the current draft EU landfill directive? Does he agree that, at this stage, it would be ill advised to give permission for that extension, as it clearly breaks the directive? Would he ask the Minister responsible, Lord Dubs, to visit the area and its residents—not talk just to UK Waste Management Ltd.—and to smell the smells from the dumps which the people of that area have to put up with?

Mr. Murphy

I certainly take into account what my hon. Friend says, and give her my fullest assurances that I will relate her point to my noble Friend Lord Dubs. We will undoubtedly get back in touch with her.

Mr. Forsythe

Does the Minister agree that it is not good planning simply to pick a quarry in the middle of a village and fill it full of rubbish? Does he further agree that it would be advisable to take the problems of dumping in old or former quarries into consideration and to check the roads? Apparently, traffic volume has not been taken into account, even in relation to planning permissions.

Mr. Murphy

I understand the hon. Gentleman's concerns about the matter, which affects his constituency. I am sure that my noble Friend Lord Dubs will take into account the points that he has made.

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