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Pig farm requires a judicial review

IT is interesting to compare the planning row over John Lewis at Sprucefield with the current row over the mega pig farm proposed for Newtownabbey.

In the case of John Lewis, a well-trusted and liked business was prevented from building a new store at Sprucefield due to a protracted and costly judicial review obtained by a consortium of shopkeepers supported by legal aid in Lisburn and Belfast.

Local residents were in favour of the John Lewis store, as it would create up to 2,000 jobs.

However, in the case of the mega pig farm in Newtownabbey, more than 700 residents have objected to a mega pig farm with a 30,000 pig capacity, which is even bigger than the one in Foston, Derbyshire, which the Environment Agency deemed a risk to public health due to the pollution, smell and risks of MRSA.

Clearly, something smells in the way planning is regulated here. The local council is not fit to make planning decisions. It needs to be far more accountable to residents' concerns. It is now apparent that a judicial review is needed over the proposed pig farm in Newtownabbey.


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