A meat processing company in Co. Cavan has been told that it needs to secure planning permission to install an underground effluent treatment pipeline.

Liffey Meats, which has its main base in Ballyjamesduff, wants to install the pipeline to the Mountnugent river.

Cavan County Council sought clarification from the higher planning authority – An Bord Pleanála (ABP) – on whether or not the development is an ‘exempted development’.

An ‘exempted development’ does not require planning permission, however ABP has ruled that it is not an exempted development and therefore would require a planning application.

The underground pipeline

The pipeline distance would be approximately 2,500m with 1,000m already in situ as part of the current waste management arrangement.

The site relates to a 2.5km stretch of the southern banks of the Pound stream in the townland of Kildorragh.

The northernmost stretch of the site overlaps with the Liffey Meats plant and the site would go through five separate landholdings.

The surrounding area is made up of agricultural fields, farmsteads and one-off homes.

Liffey Meats owns a large portion of the site involved but would need to acquire rights of way through some land along the pipeline route.

An Bord Pleanála determination

The higher planning authority considered several matters when deciding that the development requires planning permission.

An inspector for the board states in a report: “it would appear from the information provided that the pipeline may also traverse public lands. In particular lands associated with a public road/bridge.

If this is indeed the case, no consent has been provided from the Roads Authority for any interference and/or works to be carried out on these lands.

The report goes on to state: “The documentation submitted with this application does not include an Appropriate Assessment Screening Report to clarify whether or not adverse impacts may arise on Natura 2000 sites.”

The inspector added that no information had been provided on the volume of discharge that would be catered for by the pipeline or the level of treatment that had occurred prior to discharge.

An Bord Pleanála has therefore determined that it is not an exempted development and a planning application for the 9in pipe must be submitted to the local authority.