Straw bedded shed put forward as an alternative to slats in Cleggan appeal

Nathan, Olivia and Felim Cotton; Ervillagh, Ahascragh, at the County Galway Ploughing Championship in Shaboley earlier this month. Photo: Gerry Stronge.
Nathan, Olivia and Felim Cotton; Ervillagh, Ahascragh, at the County Galway Ploughing Championship in Shaboley earlier this month. Photo: Gerry Stronge.

THERE is strong opposition to the granting of planning permission to a slatted shed in West Connemara – it is suggested that a straw bedded shed would be more appropriate.

Fears have been expressed that the discharge of slurry would have an environmental impact in the local area. It is alleged that no soil tests have been carried out.

Earlier this year, planning permission was granted by Galway County Council for the erection of a new slatted shed at Knockbrack, Cleggan. It was subject to eight conditions being complied with.

It was a condition that slurry spreading be carried out at appropriate times and not during periods of heavy rainfall or on frozen ground. This was to avoid the threat of pollution.

County planners had asked the applicant, Ann Madden, for further information in relation to the development which will be constructed on an elevated site on the farm. They were satisfied with the responses.

But the decision to grant planning permission has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanala on the grounds that it poses a health risk for neighbouring residents.

It is claimed the applicant has other lands on which the slatted shed could be located that would not interfere with residential properties.

The appeal has been lodged by David and Deborah Murray and Elizabeth Ann and Michael Laffey – the couples are both from Knockbrack, Cleggan. They are hoping that the decision of Galway County Council will be overturned.

According to the planning file, the opposition to the slatted shed was on the basis that it would be located on a hilly part of the farm and away from other agricultural sheds on the site.

It was claimed that the proposed development would be unsightly and visually obtrusive and would be out of character in the area. They said that it would have a negative impact on property in the vicinity.

Concern was expressed about the suitability of the lands for the safe spreading of slurry with fears that it could result in pollution. It is claimed in the appeal that this type of animal housing is alien to the location and a viable alternative such as a bedded shed would be more appropriate.

It is suggested that manure in a composted solidified form would prove a less hazardous risk to the environment to that presented by spreading liquids. Those opposed to the development suggest a straw bedded shed as being more appropriate.

A decision on the planning appeal will be known around the middle of June.