A Co Clare farmer has been refused retention permission for a silage pit and machinery shed by An Bord Pleanála, following an appeal by a neighbour.

John Leahy applied for retention permission for both a silage pit and machinery shed at an existing farmyard at Crag, Lahinch, Co Clare, some 400m from the town centre.

Following an inspection by An Bord Pleanála, he was refused retention for the 112 square metres silage pit and for the 228 square metres machinery shed, built to a ridge height of 5.6m.

The inspector’s report had recommended that retention permission for the machinery shed be granted.

However, the board decided not to accept the recommendation in this regard and refused retention for the machinery shed also.

It said this is due to “an adverse impact on the visual amenities of the area of the [N67] scenic route”.

Raised concerns

This was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Finula Garrahy, who has lived in a detached house to the north of the site for 40 years.

A number of issues were raised in the appeal including concerns in relation to the development on lands zoned as ‘open space’, visual amenities, the potential impact on archaeology, the potential effect on the Inagh River Estuary Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and public health.

Inspector’s report

Planning inspector Gary Farrelly recommended refusal of retention for the silage pit on the basis that it is located close to the adjoining dwelling and due to the absence of information on the siting, the construction specifications and management of surface water run-off.

He said the board is not satisfied that the development would not be harmful to public health or would not seriously injure the residential amenities of properties in the vicinity.

In addition, the inspector noted the proximity of the development to the N67, as well as the adjoining dwelling.

“The board is not satisfied that the development would not result in an adverse impact on the visual amenities of the adjoining dwelling or from the scenic route,” the inspector’s report said.

This story was updated on 12 July 2024.