File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner
Mr Beggs came to see me at his request to check that
there was no further information which I required. He brought
with him a letter from Customs and Excise which clarified that
he is currently the licencee of the site at Ballyrickard Road
and is therefore responsible for the landfill tax.
Mr Beggs had previously copied to me his request
to Larne Borough Council to transfer the licence to Mr McKee.
Mr Beggs has been informed by an officer that the request is likely
to be considered by the relevant council committee on Monday next,
the 19th March and would then go to full council on Monday, 2nd
I asked Mr Beggs for some further clarification on
matters which I had noticed from the material which already have
been provided to me. I asked him whether Larne Borough Council
was the only body with which Mr McKee has made a commercial arrangement
for tipping on the site. Mr Beggs confirmed that as far as he
was aware, this was the case.
I asked Mr Beggs about the development potential
of the Inver Road site. Mr Beggs told me it was a site of 7 acres,
although 3 of those acres are a site running along the river and
unlikely to be developable. The rest of the site, 4½ acres,
is within the development zone. Mr Topping's application is likely
to be for residential development. The next door site has already
been developed for residential use.
I said to Mr Beggs that the information he had provided
about his 'Gentleman's Agreement' with Mr Topping indicated that
Mr Topping could close down the business at any time by calling
in the debt. Mr Beggs said he supposed that was so but Mr Topping
was only trying to help the business as he was a successful business
Mr Beggs asked me what the process was and the timescale
for dealing with this matter. I said that I was waiting for the
two confirmatory pieces of information, one from the Planning
Services Agency and one from Dr. Sloane. I had been informed that
Dr. Sloane was away until Monday. As soon as I had got it, I would
complete my draft report and let him have the opportunity to check
it prior to writing my conclusions. I said I hoped that this would
be some time during next week so that it could go to the Committee
on the following Tuesday, but I was dependent on replies from
these other bodies.
Mr Beggs told me that he hoped the whole episode
was now sorted out as he had found the whole episode embarrassing
and hoped that it would be concluded shortly. He said the inappropriate
tipping had certainly been sorted out.