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Grantham charity 'saddened' by approval of controversial chicken farm plan

A Grantham charity says it is ‘saddened’ after plans for a controversial chicken farm were approved today (Wednesday).

The plan for the 270,000 bird farm at Great Ponton was approved by the planning committee of South Kesteven District Council. The council rejected the proposals in February 2020 due to concerns from the Woodland Trust over the impact of ammonia on a nearby ancient woodland.

The plans will see a six-shed farm built off the High Dike.

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

Jack Taylor, the Woodland Trust’s lead campaigner for Woods Under Threat, said: “The Woodland Trust is saddened to hear that proposals for a large poultry farm at Great Ponton have recently been approved. We have held concerns around this application for some time on account of the associated increased levels of ammonia and nitrogen deposition within surrounding areas of ancient woodland.

“Ammonia and nitrogen affect many plants and fungi present within ancient woodland, negatively impacting the woodland’s ecosystem.”

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: “I still think there could have been better sites where this would not have caused any of these problems.”

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