An Bord Pleanala grant permission to Tegral for new manufacturing facility on unzoned lands

An Bord Pleanala has granted permission to Tegral for a large-scale manufacturing facility on 15.2 hectares of unzoned lands outside Athy Co. Kildare.  Tegral sought permission for the new facility in order to relocate from their existing town centre site in Athy.  Kildare County Council granted permission following a material contravention of the Development Plan given the unzoned nature of the lands. The Councils decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanala by local residents who objected to the proposed development. 

The Board’s inspector recommended a refusal based on the view that there is inadequate assimilative capacity in the River Barrow to accommodate the discharges from the proposed development and that the proposed development would therefore cause pollution of the river.  The Inspector also recommended refusal on the basis that the risks associated with the proximity of the proposed development site to a water abstraction / treatment site are a potentially serious impact.  The Board however overturned the recommendation of the inspector to refuse permission.  The Board felt that having regard to:

(a) the site location in proximity to the town and skilled workforce of Athy,

(b) the availability of connection to the town wastewater treatment plant,

(c) the physical requirements of the proposed development including water requirements, and road access to regional and national routes,

(d) the pattern of development in the area including separation distance between the facility and residential development,

(e) the requirement for the facility to operate under an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licence,

(f) the Environmental Impact Statement and further information provided by the applicant in the course of the planning application and appeal, including proposed mitigation measures,

(g) the fact that the proposed facility will replace an existing factory in Athy town centre and will in overall terms reduce emissions into the River Barrow when compared with the current activities at the existing facility in Athy town centre, and

(h) the provision of the EU Water Framework Directive and the Draft River Basin District Management Plan for the South East Region,

the proposed development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity, would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience of road users, would be acceptable in terms of its visual impact, would not be prejudicial to public health or pose an unacceptable risk of environmental  pollution, and would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. 

Permission was granted subject to 16 no. conditions, one of which requires significant landscaping works to be undertaken to screen the proposed development.

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