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Poultry shed project has South Shropshire villagers in tears

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Four industrial-scale poultry sheds to house 216,000 chickens in the Shropshire countryside should be approved, according to planning officers.

A planning application for the four 110 by 24 metre sheds at Hopton Heath, near Clungunford, is due to be considered by Shropshire Council's south planning committee on Tuesday.

The plans, at Heath Farm, also include feeding bins and a biomass boiler on a 6.15 acre farmland site.

Planning officers have recommended the plan be approved, as long as it adheres to strict guidelines covering traffic movements and environmental impact.

But the idea has had residents "in tears", objectors say and has attracted 64 letters of objection with only one in support.

Jonathan Roberts, Clungunford Parish Council chairman, said the site was close to homes and tourist accommodation and would hit both hard. He said: "A new industrial estate bigger than most urban business parks and nearly six times the size of Tesco in Ludlow is planned for our hamlet.

"Not surprisingly, we have some residents in tears at the prospect, and a whole village is unanimous in not wanting an avian invasion of this magnitude.

"Thankfully, officers at Natural England and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have come to the same conclusion.

"The planning officers at Shropshire Council, perversely, seem to think it's a good thing – they ignore local opinion and sensibilities and most of their own policies."

The Environment Agency, meanwhile, has not objected.

Stuart Thomas, of Berrys, acting as agent for the developers, said the site would be screened and fit in with the area.

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