Planners consider medicinal cannabis production plant proposal for Templepatrick

A planning application is being considered by Antrim and Newtownabbey Council for change of use at an industrial unit outside Templepatrick for the production, cultivation and processing of medicinal cannabis plants.
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An odour impact assessment has been carried out on behalf of the applicant Rickamore Ltd at the request of the council’s planning and environmental departments in relation to the proposed location at Rickamore Road Upper.

It covers odour management and environmental controls. The re-development of premises is proposed at a former egg production and packaging facility site.

The report says “the re-development of the Rickamore Road warehouse site is to create a facility for the cultivation and production of these products which are classified as schedule two unlicensed medicines.

Mossley Mill. Photo submitted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council,Mossley Mill. Photo submitted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council,
Mossley Mill. Photo submitted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council,

“All CBPMs (cannabis based products for medicinal use) are derived from cannabis flower, the cultivation and processing of which is regulated under licences from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Home Office,” the report states.

It is proposed the plant would be operating on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week, through an “all-season production process” with maximum capacity for 1,800 flowering plants (odorous) and the same in vegetation (non-odorous), if it is given the go-ahead.

The report notes the plants will be grown in several stages to allow for monthly harvesting. “The indoor air within the rooms will be treated using an odour-controlled system equipped with a carbon filtration system to remove odours prior to being exhausted passively to the outside environment,” it explains.

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“The carbon filters in all production areas are regularly replaced as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Risk assessment will be used for preliminary mitigation of odour control across the site and will result in no odour breach beyond the site boundary. Emissions from the activities shall be free from odour at levels likely to cause pollution outside the site.”

NI Direct says: “Specialist hospital doctors can prescribe or recommend cannabis-based products for treatment. The products can be used when the specialist identifies a clinical need for a person and other treatments are not suitable or have not helped.

“Medicinal cannabis is a broad term for any sort of cannabis-based product used to relieve symptoms. Medicinal cannabis products are only available on a prescription written by, or recommended by, a specialist hospital doctor.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter