Pig farm plan: Planners still accepting written representations

The proposed pig farm development at Reahill Road could house up to 30,000 animals.
The proposed pig farm development at Reahill Road could house up to 30,000 animals.

Letters of objection or support relating to the proposed large-scale pig farm development near Mossley are still being accepted, it has been confirmed.

Some opponents of the Reahill Road project had raised concerns that the deadline for objections was June 6, and that letters received after that date would not be considered.

However, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s planning department has confirmed that while last month’s planning application advertisement does encourage supporters/objectors to send in written representations within four weeks, they will be accepted until the application is due for consideration by the local authority’s Planning Committee.

No date has yet been set for consideration of the application, and some councillors believe it could be several months before it comes in front of the committee.

The applicants, the Hall family, are keen to extend their existing Old Carrick Road-based pig farm business and build a new “off-site state-of-the-art agri-food facility”. They describe the proposed development as “a sustainable, wholly self-sufficient intensive pig farming unit employing best industry practices.”

However, opponents have branded it a “mega pig farm” and a “pig factory”, claiming it would hold around 30,000 animals in four large sheds and be the biggest pig farm in the UK. They have voiced concerns about the potential environmental impact, traffic, noise, smells and animal welfare issues.

It’s understood a number of concerned local residents got together with DUP MLAs and councillors at Mossley Mill on Wednesday evening, June 3 for a private meeting to discuss the issue.

Meanwhile, some residents and environmentalists believe that local councillors should not be asked to decide on the application. Rather, they claim that due to the sheer scale of the proposed development and the technical issues involved, the matter should be dealt with as a so-called “Article 31 application”, with the decision being left to the Environment Minister.

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