Court makes order quashing permission for Co Mayo poultry farm

Planning board had given farm go-ahead but this was challenged by neighbour

The proposed chicken farm was designed to house 12,000 laying hens with access to an open range. Photograph: iStock

The proposed chicken farm was designed to house 12,000 laying hens with access to an open range. Photograph: iStock

 

The High Court has made an order quashing planning permission for a chicken farm in Co Mayo.

The order was made by Mr Justice Anthony Barr after he was told that An Bord Pleanála had consented to quashing the permission it granted in September 2019 for a new poultry house and ancillary facilities at Brownhall Demense, Balla, Castlebar.

The board’s decision to give the poultry farm the go-ahead was challenged by Michael O’Connor from Brownhall, Balla, Castlebar, who lives beside the proposed development.

The court heard on Tuesday that the board had also agreed to pay Mr O’Connor’s legal costs.

Permission was granted to Noel and Ann Mulhern, principals of the wholesale egg producers West-a-Wake Eggs.

The proposed chicken farm was designed to house 12,000 laying hens with access to an open range.

Mayo Co Council refused permission and the board’s own inspector also recommended refusal.

However, the board decided to approve it, Mr O’Connor claimed.

In his judicial review proceedings Mr O’Connor, represented by James Devlin SC, Margaret Heavey BL instructed by solicitor Gabriel Toolan, objected on grounds including noise and odour nuisance, groundwater pollution and the risk of disease to his lands from intensive poultry farming.

He also argued the development posed a risk to the River Moy Special Area of Conservation because the land drains into the Curryaphreaghaun Lough which feeds the Manulla River which is a major tributary of the Moy.

The Ballinfad Special Area of Conservation is about 1.8km from the proposed development. Part of its conservation objective is to maintain a favourable condition for the Lesser Horseshoe Bat, which is a protected species, he claimed.

The Mulherns were notice parties to the proceedings.