Dale Farm Cookstown upgrade is approved by Mid Ulster Council planning committee

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Mid Ulster District Council’s planning committee has approved plans for the upgrade of a dairy giant’s facilities in Cookstown.

Lodged by Henry Marshall Brown Architectural Partnership on behalf of applicant, Dale Farm Ltd, the application seeks permission to upgrade existing milk reception, extend the existing CIP canopy, extend existing milk intake bays and replace six existing milk silos with six new 250,000l silos at Dunmanbridge, 141 Moneymore Road.

The application also seeks approval to demolish and existing disused office building and relocate an existing weigh-bridge at the site.

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At a meeting of the committee on Monday, January 9, members were told one representation and a single petition with five signatures had been received in respect of the proposed development expressing concerns.

Dale Farm's facility at Moneymore Road, Cookstown. Picture: GoogleDale Farm's facility at Moneymore Road, Cookstown. Picture: Google
Dale Farm's facility at Moneymore Road, Cookstown. Picture: Google

These concerns included the further restriction of daylight, ground excavations may cause structural damage, devaluation of property and health and safety grounds.

A report presented to members of the committee addressed these concerns and advised that none are substantial enough to warrant refusal. It explained the site is currently home to a large milk and cheese processing factory which is accessed from the main A29 dual carriageway.

It was noted the proposal seeks to upgrade the existing milk reception, including two 300m3 water storage tanks plus a pumping set for two 200m3 water storage tanks.

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The extensions to the CIP canopy will provide for three tanker washing facilities and the extension to the milk intake bays will provide for three milk intake bays.

It was also made clear that DfI Roads are content with the proposal and have no objections and following the production of a noise impact assessment environmental health have confirmed they have no issues with it either.

As such, the application was recommended for approval with three conditions attached.

These are: development must begin within five years from the date of permission being granted; the sound pressure level of any water pump shall not exceed 70 dB when measured 1m horizontally and at a height of 1.5m from a working pump and; that within four weeks of a written request from Council, following a noise complain the operator shall, at their expense employ a suitably qualified and competent person to assess compliance with noise levels.

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A proposal to approve the application, in line with planning officer’s recommendation was put forward by Councillor Wesley Brown and seconded by Councillor Derek McKinney, with the committee voicing its approval.