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Balla poultry farm gets green light


Ger Flanagan

PERMISSION has been granted for a 12,000 capacity free-range poultry house at Brownhall Demense, outside Balla, despite recommendations for refusal by the planning inspector.
An Bord Pleanála granted permission to the applicants, Noel and Ann Mulhern, after they appealed the decision by Mayo County Council to refuse the request.
A total of 12 submissions were lodged by local residents in the Brownhall area against the development, who cited a number of concerns over the application.
Mayo County Council refused the application on the grounds that the 1,856-metre-squared-site would impact on residential amenity and potentially impact on Special Areas of Conversation (SAC), which in this case is the River Moy, situated 1.3km from the proposed site.
In her report, Sarah Lynch, Planning Inspector for An Bord Pleanála, who carried out an inspection on that site on August 12 last, recommended that planning permission is refused. She wrote that she had ‘serious concerns in relation to the potential for both noise and disturbance to neighbouring properties given the inadequacies outlined in relation to the noise impact assessment and for the adverse impacts upon the integrity for the River Moy SAC’.
She added that the ‘proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area’.

Majority decision
However, An Bord Pleanála considered the inspectors report at a Board meeting on September 5 last and decided to grant permission by a majority of 2:1.
In their report, signed by John Connolly of An Bord Pleanála, they say that in deciding not to accept the inspector’s recommendation, they were satisfied that ‘the proposed development would not seriously injure the amenities of properties in the vicinity, by reason of noise and general disturbance, and depreciate the value of properties in the area’.
They added that they were satisfied that ‘the proposed development individually, or in combination with other plans or projects would not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the European Site, River Moy SAC’.