Northern Ireland

Planning permission granted for Newtownabbey pig farm

Image caption The original plan was to have up to 30,000 pigs on the farm but it will now accommodate 15,000 pigs.

Planning permission has been granted for a major pig farm in Newtownabbey, despite opposition from some residents.

The farm is being developed by farmer, Derek Hall, at Rea Hill road and will accommodate 15,000 pigs.

At an Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Planning Committee meeting nine councillors voted in favour while two opposed the development.

Mr Hall had wanted to build a facility which could accommodate up to 30,000 pigs.

'Animal welfare'

The original plan proved controversial with thousands of objections.

There were 856 individual letters of objection and 200,000 people signed an online petition.

There were also two letters of support.

Mr Hall said that the scale of the original application had included capacity for expansion.

He said it was planned with the highest standards of animal welfare in mind.

A report by consultants on behalf of Mr Hall said the original scale of the project had been reviewed "following additional operational requirements and taking into account third party feedback including objections and political representations".

It said the project had been reviewed in light of new planning guidelines covering "sustainable development".

Those guidelines refer to the need to balance "social, economic and environmental" considerations.

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