Councillors to be sent hamper of vegan chicken after they rejected poultry farm plan near Grantham
Animal rights campaigners have said they’ll send South Kesteven District Councillors a “hamper of vegan chicken” as a thank you for refusing plans for a 270,000 bird poultry farm.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) submitted a 25,000 signature petition to the authority objecting to ADAS’ plans for a six-shed farm at High Dike, in Great Ponton – dubbing it a “chicken prison”.
On Wednesday, councillors rejected the plans against officer advice and in the face of threats of high costs if the application went to appeal.
PETA director Elisa Allen said the group applauded the rejection of the “nightmarish new industrial-sized broiler unit”, and that it meant “thousands of sensitive chickens had been spared a lifetime of misery and traumatic death”.
“The decision is great news not only for chickens but also for the future of our planet: according to the United Nations, animal agriculture is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global,” she said.
“We’ll be sending South Kesteven district councillors a hamper of vegan chicken to thank them, on behalf of the birds who have been spared, for this decision.”
Despite battling with the decision for more than an hour, councillors felt the facility was being built in the wrong place and called on the applicants to work with them on a solution.
Council officers advised that defending a rejection could be difficult at appeal, however, members rejected it due to its potential impact on nearby ancient woodland.
The applicants have been approached for further comment, however, a letter sent to members prior to a meeting said that they felt the authority would be “unreasonable” to deny the plans.
They indicated they would be claiming costs at any appeal of the decision overseen by the Secretary of State.
Great Ponton villager Richard Parkinson welcomed the decision. He said: "From the day the Journal first revealed details of this proposed, industrial-scale development last June, many people in Great Ponton and neighbouring communities have raised a number of justifiable concerns and objections. Despite facing considerable pressure from the applicant, the councillors on the planning committee have made the right decision to refuse."
More by this authorDaniel Jaines, Local Democracy Reporter