Proposal for Shropshire game bird breeding farm

A breeding farm capable of holding up to 6,000 game birds could be built in a village in Shropshire if it is given the go-ahead, it has been revealed.

The birds would be bred and reared for sport at Spring Hill Farm in Warrant Road, Stoke Heath, near Market Drayton.

Landowner Robert Manning has submitted an application to Shropshire Council for a change of use of the land, through his agents Peter Richards & Co.

The birds would be kept in six large pens, with about 1,000 birds per pen, as part of a diversification project at the farm.

A design and access statement sent to Shropshire Council said: “The applicant owns and farms at Spring Hill Farm, which consists of a farmhouse, a modest range of farm buildings set in 12.74 acres (5.15 ha) of pasture land.

“Currently the farm is used for the rearing of beef cattle, sheep and rare breed poultry.

“The applicant has no intention of ceasing farming, but views the opportunity to breed game birds as a diversification activity which will complement his existing livestock farming activity.”

Mr Manning declined to comment on the application.

Spring Hill Farm is located in between Stoke on Tern and Stoke Heath.

The birds would be present on the farm for 15 to 16 weeks of the year between late February and mid June.

They would be divided into smaller colonies of 50 birds to aid more efficient breeding and about 3,870 eggs are expected to be collected per day at peak season.

Members of the Manning family will collect the eggs.

The application also says that about 30 tonnes of feed will be used every month, delivered via two HGV lorries.

Pete Waters, chairman of Stoke on Tern Parish Council, said the issue will be discussed at the next parish council meeting in the Parish Hall on September 18.

He said: “This is a planning application we have just received it.

“We will look at it over the next few days and discuss it at the meeting.”

The parish council meeting is scheduled to start at 7.30pm.