A trio of leading environmental and animal welfare lobbying groups have submitted a joint objection to a controversial pig farm on the outskirts of Limavady.
Friends of the Earth, Farms Not Factories and the Soil Association, submitted their objection to the proposed farm that will house over 2,000 sows, if it is approved, on Friday.
The objectors claim that “large intensive pig farms” are likely to result in a “number of emissions and/or effluents that have a significant potential deleterious effect on the health of people in the vicinity.”
“In particular there is a considerable risk of the contamination of the area with pathogens such as salmonella, clostridium difficile, campylobacter and E.coli, and research suggests that within a certain distance of such facilities, in spite of mitigating measures, there are likely to be emissions such as ammonia and bio-aerosols in concentrations that are potentially harmful to human health,” the objectors state.
They add: “Health is a core planning consideration in the Draft Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland.
“The proposed development would carry serious risks to the health and wellbeing of local residents. There has been cogent and persuasive evidence adduced to illustrate these risks, notwithstanding the fact that the science surrounding the health risks of such facilities is at a developing stage.”
The Journal made contact with the farmer behind the development, Thomas Simpson, through the local branch of the Ulster Farmers’ Union but was informed he doesn’t wish to make any further comment on the application at this stage.
Mr Simpson previously told the Journal the project will support up to a dozen local jobs if it goes ahead.
And an environmental report prepared by Preferred Capital Management on behalf of the applicant, has not identified that there would be any “severe or substantial long-term negative environmental effects” as a result of the project.
“Adverse effects that do arise do not exceed recognised environmental standards with the majority of impacts arising during construction and consequently where the environmental effects are of temporary duration,” the statement reported.
It stated that there would be no demonstrable harm to residential amenity by way of noise or odour; the proposal would not pose any environmental risk to air quality; there would be no unacceptable adverse impact on nature conservation interests; and there would be no potential adverse impact on water resources.
A spokesperson for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council advised it is awaiting further environmental impact information from the developer.
“Following submission of the Environmental Statement the Council carried out consultation with consultees, and subsequently requested an addendum to the Environmental Statement on August 22,” the spokesperson said.
“The applicant has until November 22 or an alternative date if agreed in writing to submit the addendum. Further consideration of the application is held until the submission of the addendum,” she said.