Countess Walderdorff's million gallon slurry pond plan gets thumbs down in Wexford

By David TUCKER

Published 07/07/2015 | 00:00

Artramon House near Crossabeg.
Artramon House near Crossabeg.

wexford County Council had rejected a proposal by Countess Ulrike Walderdorff to build a million gallon slurry- and soiled-water lagoon at her Artramon estate farm near Crossabeg because of its proximity to the Slaney.

In its decision, the council says it is not satisfied that the proposed lagoon would not adversely impact sensitive conservation sites in the area.

In an application submitted on her behalf by building surveyor Nigel Redmond, Countess Walderdorff says the lagoon is required for Artramon Farm to comply with current nitrare directives regarding slurry and soiled water storage capacity for the withholding period in winter.

The lagoon would also enable Artramon Farm to expand its stock numbers in the near future, from 300 cows to 400, from 150 heifers to 200, from two bullocks to three and from 150 calves to 200. She said the majority of traffic movement to and from the lagoon would be contained within the land holdings via 10,000 vacuum tanks and 130 HP tractors.

Ten per cent free board within the lagoon would be assured to ensure adequate storage is allowed for in the event of rain and a further 800mm bund would surround the lagoon to ensure no surface water enters the lagoon or the lagoon leaks into the surrounding landholdings.

A planner's recommendation stressed that a Natura Impact Statement would need to be carried out in order to facilitate an appropriate assessment by the planning authority.. 'in order to scientifically prove that there will be no adverse effects on the Natura 2000 sites'.

In its refusal, the council said: 'The proposed development is located in close proximity to the Slaney River Valley Special Area of Conservation and the Wexford Harbour and Slobs Special Protection area, Natura 2000 site. The Planning Authority is not satisfied, on the basis of information submitted in connection with the planning application, that the proposed development would not adversely affect the integrity of these European sites in view of their conservation objectives.'

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