A proposed expansion of a pig farm in Clonaslee has run foul of stringent opposition from local residents, who are kicking up a stink over the odours being released from what is being described as “an eyesore” development.
The company directors of Rosderra Farm, which is a two-site pig farm operating in the Clonaslee townlands of Graigueafulla and Corbally, have applied to Laois County Council for permission to construct a new pig house together with all ancillary structures in Graigueafulla, including two meal storage bins.
In the application, it is explained that the two sites, which are roughly 300m apart, currently operate as an integrated pig farm. The expansion is needed as the breeding site is not of sufficient size to supply all of the pigs required by the finishing site, and additional pigs are brought in from another farm.
However, two submissions have been made to the council from residents objecting to the plan.
Ms Bernie Dunne, of Windy Heights, Cloonagh, Clonaslee, claimed that she has to live with the smells emanating from the pig farm on a constant basis, even on Sundays.
“I live a short distance from the pig farm. We have the smell of the pig farm morning and night. As we are in the prevailing wind of the pig farm, Rosderra are now allowing people in to draw slurry on Sunday. This leave us with no day without slurry being spread,” she said in her submission.
Also objecting are Mr Alan and Ms Bridene Murphy, of Graigueafulla, who claimed “at present the odour originating from this development is quite strong.” They fear any additional volume to the pig farm will exacerbate the foul odour and said nothing is mentioned within the planning application to prevent this.
The said their home commands a lovely view of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, however this view is “ruined” by the pig farm. “If this planning application was to be granted it will cause more of an eyesore,” they claimed, explaining that there are trying to sell their property but the pig farm has devalued their home.
The Murphys also raised concerns over damage caused to a small access roadway by high volumes of traffic using the pig farm, with the road “constantly covered in mud and potholes”. They claimed this road will not be able to withstand any additional volumes of heavy machinery or traffic.
Finally, they expressed concerns over surface water runoff as their well is in close proximity to the site. The Murphys took exception with a report prepared by CLW Environmental Planners Ltd which said that “the rural residents are accustomed to agricultural smells such as animal manure spreading, silage and silage effluent spreading”.
“I wonder if the person who prepared this report would live beside such a development,” they asked.
A decision is due from Laois County Council by April 20.