Tuam Livestock Mart wins fight to retain security fencing

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Tuam C0-Operative Livestock Mart has won an appeal to retain its current security fencing after previously being refused permission.

Last December, the county council refused an application by the Livestock Mart to retain security fencing, walls, and gateways around the site.

In refusing permission the council said that the current fencing is “visually obstructive” and doesn’t complement the character of the area, contravening the Tuam Local Area Plan 2018-2022.

The current security walls, fences and gateways around the site of the Tuam Livestock Mart were built in 2017 after the council granted permission to demolish several outbuildings on the site and replace the old, smaller fence.

An appeal was made against this decision to An Bord Pleanála in January arguing that there was a need for the new fence due to security concerns about controlling multiple access points to the site.

Two objections were lodged with the county council from a local resident and business last year, and both of them made observations to An Bord Pleanála as well.

Public submissions said the fencing blocking visibility of the roadsign for Athenry and the view of St. Mary’s Cathedral, as well as being an “eyesore” along the route of the proposed Greenway.

It was also said that the fencing created a traffic hazard at the entrance to Tuam Farm Supplies at the Mart as drivers had poor visibility of pedestrians.

Concerns were also expressed about a potential fire hazard on the site as fertiliser is stored along the fence adjacent to one objectors property.

In response the owners of the Livestock Mart said that the site can be easily accessed by fire crews and that the fencing is necessary as there had been issues with trespassing in the past.

It was also noted that there is no protected view along Chuch View and that the old rail line is not currently a Greenway.

An inspector for An Bord Pleanala said that the Livestock Mart is a long standing part of the local area, and that as a commercial property using fencing for security was appropriate.

The inspector also noted that the fencing is “visually inconspicuous” and in keeping with the use of the site, and therefore not damaging to the character of the area.

The developer also volunteered to reduce the height of the fencing along Church View by 400mm to remove any visual obstruction of road signage.

With that condition the higher planning authority granted permission to retain the fencing and walls.