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Pleanála grant permission for Foxford poultry farm


Anton McNulty

AN Bord Pleanála have granted planning permission for the construction of a poultry house near Foxford which could contain up to 39,000 broiler hens.
The planning authority granted planning permission to Gavin Canning to develop the poultry house on agricultural lands at Ballylahan which is approximately 5km south of Foxford. The decision to grant permission came following an appeal by Mr Canning after he had initially been refused permission by Mayo County Council.
Mr Canning’s application was to demolish two existing farm buildings and erect a new poultry shed with an area of 1,952 square metres. The new shed would be 92m long, 22m wide and 6m high and would have maximum capacity for 39,000 broilers.
The application was initially refused for two reasons. The first that the development would interfere with the character of the landscape and the second was that the poultry shed would be too close to existing houses.
In his appeal to An Bord Pleanála (ABP), Mr Canning stated he was ‘extremely disappointed’ with the decision of the Council and stated that there were no objections from local residents and letters of support from all houses within 400m are submitted with the appeal.
Mr Canning stated that this form of farm enterprise would be appropriate in a rural area where agriculture is the main industry and it would be consistent with the provisions of the area’s development plan.
The appeal stated the stock would be brought from the hatchery as day olds and would remain in the house for five to six weeks before they are brought to the processors. Mr Canning stated that manure would be removed by a specialist contractor for off-site disposal and the house would be washed down and a new bedding laid down before the new batch of hatchlings are introduced.
He said the conclusion that the development and associated excavation would have a negative visual impact does not have proper regard to the amount of vegetation around the site, which is surrounded by trees.
In his report, Stephen J O’Sullivan, Inspector for ABP stated that while the proposed building was long, it was not particularly high and the visual impact would be reduced by the retention of mature tress and other vegetation around it.
In relation to the impact on the residential amenity, Mr O’Sullivan found that the poultry house would not likely cause a nuisance to nearby house to a degree that would seriously injure their residential amenity or depreciate their value.
He recommended permission be granted for the proposed development subject to eight conditions and his recommendations were accepted by the board of ABP. 

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