Dickson says pig farm decision shows need for third-party appeal system

East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has said the successful application for a major pig farm in Newtownabbey shows the need for third-party right of appeal in planning decisions.

The farm will accommodate 15,000 pigs, half of what the developer had originally intended. The initial plan had received thousands of objections.

Alliance MLA Mr Dickson, who supported objectors, said it was disappointing the farm received planning permission.

“It is regrettable this farm, and the potential noxious pollution of the surrounding area which normally accompanies such operations, was given the go ahead,” he said.

“The entire matter demonstrates perfectly why our planning regulations are flawed, as no objector has a right to a third-party appeal. If the decision had gone against the applicant, he could have gone to appeal.

“We need such a mechanism for objectors and I intend to do all I can to ensure this issue is addressed. In the interim I and the objectors will seek to ensure every environmental standard is met at the site.”

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