One of the signs erected in Swinford opposing the biogas plant plan.

New biogas facility plan for east Mayo faces opposition

A NEW planning application for an agri biogas facility in Swinford is to be lodged with Mayo County Council in the coming weeks.

Local residents have registered their ongoing concerns about the choice of location.

They staged a protest outside Swinford Courthouse where the developers held a public information event. They also viewed the plans to see what is different this time round.

Moy Valley Biogas propose to build the plant at Lislackagh and Carrowbaun, off the N5, adjacent to the old town dump.

A previous application for the renewable energy facility was rejected by Mayo County Council earlier this year.

There were 254 objections on that occasion.

Concerns included impact on road access and safety, odours, emissions and the pollution risk to the Spaddagh River. Swinford Biogas Concern Group feel the proposed location was and continues to be unsuitable.

On their social media account Moy Valley Biogas said under the new proposal road infrastructure will be upgraded to include a walking path. Road safety audits have been carried out and they felt they have now satisfied issues raised in relation to ensuring contractors do not exit onto the N5 using the old dump road access.

They circulated information, too, which addressed concerns, including odours, noise and environmental impact.

Swinford Biogas Concern Group said HGV traffic will impact not only Swinford town but other local communities, with plans to send trucks via the Meelick, Charlestown and Kiltimagh roads.

They are not prepared to have their enjoyment of their residential area destroyed.

The location, less than 200 metres from the nearest home, at an important habitat, is not suitable.

They said in a statement: “This type of facility should be in an isolated area of Mayo or Sligo where it does not affect people's lives.”