A MOUNTMELLICK man has been told by An Bord Pleanala that his agricultural shed is not an exempted development as it is located in a special conservation area.
Mr Patrick Horan, of Derrycloney, Mountmellick, has been told that the area he has built his shed is home to a number of animal species, with a range of rare plants and invertebrates to be found in the woods along the nearby rivers. Because of this the board concluded that overall the site is of considerable conservation significance.
Laois County Council deemed the site to be in Flood Zone A where ground conditions are poor. The impact of construction works has not been carried out and the council say that the building of a drain would have significant effect on the SAC (Special Area of Conservation).
A Development Application Unit report said there were outstanding issues to be addressed on the site, including wastewater disposal and the possible destruction of a habitat within an SAC.
The An Bord Pleanála inspector noted that exemption is normally conditional on there being adequate effluent storage facilities, but a report on the property indicates there are no effluent storage facilities on site.
The inspector went on to say that the issue of flood risk has not been meaningfully addressed. It was also noted that Mr Horan makes reference to the term “agricultural stables”, however there is very little information on the nature of agricultural use.
There is also a possibility of increased traffic levels.
Solicitors for Mr Moran say the inclusion of the site in the SAC seems “wholly irrational” considering the traditional use of the site as a residence. They also claim there would be no impact on the SAC and no loss of habitat to animals.