Opponents of Northern Ireland’s large pig farms have called for a halt on new developments, amid claims the facilities have breached international regulations on public health and environment.
Groups including Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) claim ammonia emissions from farms have not been factored in to planning decisions, and that the emissions put the UK in breach of the Espoo Convention agreements.
The agreements of the convention were previously used as part of planning for the development of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the Republic of Ireland.
FIE has alerted the council to possible breaches of commitments made at pig farms in Limavady, Draperstown and outside Belfast, and the group says planning permission for the farms “has not considered the cumulative cross-border effect”.
As many as 105 farm planning applications were held up in Northern Irish council systems this year, while ammonia levels were assessed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).