Plans for a pig finishing factory in the Pike of Rushall have been scotched in the wake of trenchant opposition from local residents, with Laois County Council refusing permission due to pollution concerns and potential flood risk dangers.
The council have rejected an application from Mr Joe Shirley to construct a 1427.5 m2 pig finishing unit at Keelough Glebe, Pike of Rushall, following submissions from residents of Keelough Glebe who feared the new development would be located too close to their homes. They said the development would be built within 300m of their homes, even though EPA guidelines state that pig units should be no closer than 400m.
The residents also said information was needed on the total number of animals to be housed, the volume of effluent, and storage and disposal volumes. The potential threat to the water supply in the area from the amount of slurry produced was also highlighted, as were the health risks posed by “nuisance gases”.
The residents’ submission was signed by Mr Sean and Mrs Mary Phelan, Mr Ciaran Phelan and Ms Linda Maloney, Mr Sean Phelan and Ms Paula Hanafin, and Ms Carmel Phelan. A separate submission was made by Ms Margaret Phelan.
In response, an agent for the applicant, Mr Shane Carroll addressed concerns regarding slurry, saying that two customer farmers were willing to import pig manure from the proposed unit. Mr Carroll said that it was not expected that the pig unit would be visible to any dwelling within a 400m radius.
However, the residents said that the applicant had not addressed the issue of the development’s proximity to their houses. They also feared that slurry would be spread randomly in the area.
Laois County Council have now refused permission for the pig finishing unit, as a portion of land is at risk of flooding. They also said that by January 1, 2017, the output of effluent from the development would exceed the amount of animal effluent that can be spread on the lands. The council said it was not satisfied the development would not cause water pollution and injure the local amenities.