Temporary Peat Extraction and Bog Restoration
Ferry Road, Coalisland
We are inviting your views on a proposal by McCann Bros for the temporary extraction of peat from lands at Ferry Road, Coalisland and restoration of the bog when extraction ceases. The feedback received will help to inform a planning application that will be submitted to Mid Ulster District Council.
The application site comprises 45ha of land located to the northeast and southwest of Ferry Road, Coalisland. It is located in the open countryside, near to the shore of Lough Neagh, approximately 5.6 miles from the nearest town of Coalisland. The area is predominantly rural in character with a number of residential properties and agricultural and commercial premises scattered sparsely throughout. The Dungannon and South Tyrone Area Plan 2010 designates the site outside any defined settlement limit and within a designated Area of Constraint on Mineral Developments. The area of the application site to the northeast of Ferry Road is also included within a designated Countryside Policy Area (green shading) and Ferry Road is identified as being part of the National Cycle Network. The site is also included in the Lough Neagh Ramsar Site. A copy of the site location plan can be viewed and downloaded below:
McCann Bros currently manage this area from which it extracts peat to produce peat-based horticultural products. The land has been utilised for commercial peat extraction since 1884 and McCann Bros have been supplying local authorities all over Northern Ireland for the last 35 years. Other non-peat based products produced by McCann Bros include tree bark mulch, soil and organic-based fertilisers for commercial and public sector customers. The company currently employs ten people in various roles including peat extraction, processing, delivery and office staff.
Peat is extracted from approximately 20% of the overall managed peat bog owned by McCann Bros annually, typically during the Summer months (May – September), when the land is sufficiently dry to carry the harvesting machinery. To ensure continual regeneration of the bog, 2 - 3 foot of peat on the ground is always retained.
Once extracted, the peat is then stockpiled and processed as required throughout the year into various peat-based products at the McCann Bros facility at 114 Derryloughan Road.
The current draft proposal for temporary peat extraction and restorative works is detailed in the Bog Restoration Ecological Report provided by Blackthorn Ecology, which can be downloaded below. Figure 3 of that report provides a useful reference (see extract below). This identifies the various habitat types within the land operated by McCann Bros and sets out the proposed restoration phases: The Phase 1 restoration areas are outlined in red – these are generally areas that have been somewhat damaged by historic peat extraction and where short-term/immediate bog restoration operations are proposed to be implemented to bring those areas of the bog back to an improved state. The Phase 2 restoration areas are outlined in blue – these are areas that now have little ecological value and are proposed for continued peat extraction for a further temporary period with longer-term restoration works proposed to be implemented when the peat extraction ceases. Taken holistically, the proposal is intended to deliver both short-term and longer-term ecological and environmental improvements that would secure the comprehensive rehabilitation of the entire area of the bog.
We would appreciate any feedback you might have in response to the draft proposals. All your comments will be considered before a planning application will be submitted to the Council.
O'Toole & Starkey Ltd, Arthur House, 41 Arthur Street, Belfast, BT1 4GB
Please also get in touch if you would like any further information. Our full contact details are below and on our Contact page. We are happy to facilitate video conferencing on request to allow an opportunity to discuss the proposals with members of the design team.
All comments should be provided before the end of 31st December 2020 to ensure they are given consideration before submission of the formal planning application.
Following the conclusion of this pre-application public consultation, all comments will be reviewed. Once considered, relevant changes may be made to the proposal and all comments, including a summary of the key concerns and the applicant’s responses will be included in a Pre-Application Community Consultation Report. This report will accompany the application submission.
Supporting technical and environmental documents will be finalised to accompany the application. Once complete, the supporting documents and final proposed drawings will be submitted with the Pre-Application Community Consultation Report as a planning application to the Council for consideration and determination.
Once the application is validated, the Council will proceed with its own statutory consultation. The Council will notify the local community about the consultation and application process and how they can participate.