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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020
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A Kilkenny pensioner is taking the Irish planning board to court - over slurry

Specifically An Bord Pleanála’s decision to let his neighbour ‘agitate’ slurry next to his house, allegedly contrary to their own health inspector’s recommendation.

Image: Shutterstock/Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH

A 75-YEAR-OLD Kilkenny pensioner today legally challenged in the High court a decision by An Bord Pleanála to allow a neighbouring  farmer install slurry agitators within metres of his home.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan heard that William Chambers was seeking to quash a Board decision to “unreasonably and irrationally” allow the development by over-ruling the recommendation of one of its own planning inspectors.

David Kennedy SC, counsel for Chambers of Sidegate, Moneenroe, Co Kilkenny, told the court that Mr Chambers was in poor health and the proposed development was within seven meters of his boundary with next door neighbour John Mooney.

Mr Kennedy said Mr Chambers, who had been living in his home for 15 years, was concerned about the potential noise the proposed development would create and feared its impact on his health.

Counsel told the court that toxic gases were being produced during the decomposition of the slurry.  One of them, Hydrogen Sulphide, is poisonous to humans and animals.

He said one of the precautions to be taken while agitating the slurry was to evacuate all persons and livestock but one of Mr Chambers’s windows was ten meters from the agitation point.

Mr Kennedy said Mr Mooney, since taking over his father’s farm five years ago, had more than doubled his herd and Mr Chambers was not in a position to handle the situation anymore.

Mr Kennedy said that in an appeal the Board had found the development to be “modest and reasonable.”  Mr Chambers was now seeking, on an ex-parte (one side only) basis, permission to bring judicial review proceedings against the Board’s decision.

Chambers claimed that An Bord Pleanála failed to adequately state the main reasons why it did not follow the recommendation of its planning inspector to refuse permission.  He also claimed the Board failed to consider the inspector’s remarks about the effect of the development on his health.

Judge Heneghan allowed Mr Chambers leave to bring judicial review proceedings. She ordered An Bord Pleanála be put on notice of the legal action and adjourned the matter to a date in November.

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About the author:

Ray Managh and Saurya Cherfi

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