Outrage over green light for mega pig farm
A planning application for a massive pig farm in Newtownabbey that will house 15,000 animals has been approved - despite vocal protests from local residents.
The application for the operation on Rea Hill Road in Newtownabbey was made by farmer Derek Hall, who had originally suggested a facility that could accommodate 30,000 animals.
Furious opponents filled the chamber and protested outside, with some residents confronting councillors who supported the farm.
Among those who had objected to the plan were Queen guitarist and animal welfare campaigner Brian May, and actors Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove.
The charity Animal Aid had also claimed that up to 17,000 pigs would be kept in cramped conditions.
At a planning committee meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council last night, nine members voted in favour, with two DUP members voting against.
Ulster Unionist Roderick Swann, who backed the proposal, said: "I'm a farmer myself who supports the agri-industry and I was quite satisfied that all the necessary welfare issues were addressed.
"The planning case officer and all the consultees were quite happy with everything that was proposed."