Fresh concern over pig farm

A number of protests have been staged previously by people opposed to the Reahill Road pig farm. (archive image)
A number of protests have been staged previously by people opposed to the Reahill Road pig farm. (archive image)

Concerns have been raised over a retrospective planning application in relation to a pig farm development at the Reahill Road area of Newtownabbey.

The application includes amendments to the existing plans which received approval two years ago.

The proposal in brief states: “Retention of existing silo building to include control switch room, re-contouring of land including earth moulding/earth bunds (part proposed and part existing), attenuation pond (reduction in size from that previously approved), landscaping and other works.

“Retention of bunded area around bio-digester plant, retention of existing plant and machinery including (i) stand by generator (relocated 20m east of previously approved location), (ii) emergency flare (relocated approximately 41m south west of previously approved location), (iii) boiler, manifold and pump block (approximately 22m east of previously approved location).

“This application includes amendments to Planning Permission LA03/2015/0051/F for a proposed pig farm and the retention of development works beyond the previously approved site boundary.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Planning Committee gave the green light in November 2016 for a facility which will house in excess of 15,000 pigs. Following the decision, a number of objectors vowed to continue fighting against the farm.

Campaign group Stop the Newtownabbey Pig Factories was established in opposition to the facility. Voicing concern about what it described as a “major amendment to the original plans”, a spokesperson for the group added “we believe there should be an immediate moratorium on any further planning applications for factory farm units and/or Anaerobic Digestors in Northern Ireland”.

Meanwhile, council confirmed it has received five objections to the latest application. A council spokesperson said: “The council has received a retrospective planning application on the site of the previously approved pig farm on the Reahill Road. The application seeks to retain certain elements of the development which have deviated from the grant of planning permission.

“Prior to the submission of the planning application, the developer and their consultants held a pre-application consultation event to invite comments from neighbours and other third parties on their proposal. This is a legal requirement for a development of this scale.

“In accordance with the normal procedures for processing any planning application, the council, upon receipt of the planning application has carried out its own neighbourhood notification process. is sent out to occupied properties in the vicinity of the site.”

“While it is not possible to predict when a decision will be reached on the application, it is certain that no determination will be reached this month. To date the council has received five objections to the application.”