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Controversial chicken farm south of Grantham is approved

A previously-rejected intensive chicken farm for 270,000 birds near Grantham has been approved after plans were resubmitted to the council.

South Kesteven District Council initially rejected the proposals in February 2020 due to concerns from the Woodland Trust over the impact of ammonia on a nearby ancient woodland.

Plans for the chicken farm were approved in South Kesteven’s Planning Committee this morning (Wednesday) and will see a six-shed farm built at High Dike, in Great Ponton.

A layout of the proposed chicken farm. (45890974)
A layout of the proposed chicken farm. (45890974)

Kenny Dhillon, on behalf of the applicant Bowler Adams Ltd, said 1,700 native trees and a hedgerow would be planted around the site "to ensure that the site looks part of the landscape rather than something that stands out."

Committee member Councillor Ian Selby, who voted against the plan, said he was concerned about large lorries entering and leaving the site on to the High Dyke. Coun Selby said: "My concern is with the big HGVs, not just going into the site, but I think it will be even more difficult for them pulling out of the site on to the High Dyke road

Committee chairman Councillor Bob Adams said: "I think there were genuine concerns and grave concerns from residents and villagers nearby. I think the efforts that the applicant has gone to mitigate those concerns, while they may not be perfect, they have gone a long, long way to meeting those concerns."

Councillor Penny Milnes said she appreciated the extra planting that would be done around the site but still had concerns. She told the committee: "I still think there could have been better sites where this would not have caused any of these problems."

Councillor Robert Reid proposed the application be approved. He said: "It's been a long journey and I feel it's probably the best, particularly ecologically, that we can manage to do for this application."

Elisa Allen, PETA UK’s director previously said: “South Kesteven District Council has a duty to the taxpaying public, not to a bullying business that will bring misery and death to thousands of sensitive animals – it’s that simple.”

PETA gifted the council a vegan hamper as thanks for rejecting initial proposals.

Developers RSK ADAS Ltd said: “The proposed development is needed to meet an existing market demand for UK sourced poultry.

“It is economically and environmentally preferable to meet this demand through diversification of developing new sites, such as at land near Railway Farm, which will breathe new industry into the rural economy of Grantham.”

Previously, a nearby school said parents had threatened to remove their children and that its existence was “under threat”.

Councillors were also angered by a “threatening” and “intimidating” letter from the applicant’s solicitor.

Compared to 144 objections and a 25,000 signature petition last year, only around 13 households have raised concerns to this development.

At the end of March this year, West Lindsey District Council approved an egg farm with 32,000 hens in Laughterton.

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