Council highlight tourism in response to DETI

At a November planning meeting, Coleraine Borough Council asked for more time to consider an application by Lonmin Limited for prospecting rights in the Borough.

The application had come in correspondence from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Members attending Tuesday night’s meeting were told that an extension was not available as the licence was due to expire on December 31.

Corporate Director of Environmental Services, Keiran Doherty drafted a response to DETI outlining Council’s views.

The response points out that the ‘key economic driver’ in the Borough is tourism and the conflict that the application may have with the tourism trade.

Another key point in the response to DETI included a condition that Council should be consulted in the event of any ground works being undertaken either as part of the prospecting process or as part of any eventual mining. And that the consultation must included a full environmental impact assessment.

Members agreed with the response.

Independent councillor Christine Alexander told the meeting: “This Council was very vocal about this in 2007, when it first came before us. There is a huge conflict between economic benefit and tourism.”

UUP councillor David Barbour said he supported the response.