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Answers urged on impact of Market Drayton chicken farm plans

By Rory Smith | Market Drayton | Health | Published:

A campaign group fighting controversial plans to build a chicken farm housing more than 30,000 hens near Market Drayton is calling for officials to assess the environmental impact.

The Betton and Norton (BAN) Action Group said dust and odour pollution on nearby residents from excrement spreading will cause a number of problems, and that information on where manure would be spread is yet to be provided.

The proposals for the chicken farm, which have been resubmitted by Merlott Chitty Farms, are for the development of a poultry building to house 32,000 free range laying hens in two 16,000 bird sections near the village of Betton.

The calls from the action group come after three of the country's senior judges quashed proposals for the creation of four poultry buildings and associated development at Matthew Bower's Footbridge Farm in Tasley at the Court of Appeal.

The court ruled that the pre-planning consent assessment of the smell and dust impact on local residents caused by the disposal of chicken manure on nearby fields was not properly considered by Shropshire Council when it approved the plans.

Richard Moulson, of BAN Action Group, said: "We are extremely concerned that no information has been provided as to where manure from this development will be spread.

"We urge Shropshire Council to ensure the applicant submits full details of where and how manure will be treated.

"The impact on local residents from spreading of poultry excrement must be fully assessed.

"In light of the recent Tasley case, Shropshire Council must take seriously their duty of care to residents."

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An odour report submitted along with the proposals for the chicken farm states: "Peak odour emission rates are likely to occur when the housing is cleaned and cleared of spent litter at the end of each production cycle, approximately once per annum.

"To avoid high odour levels at nearby sensitive receptors, it may be possible to time the operation to coincide with winds blowing in a favourable direction.

"As the proposed poultry house would operate a belt system that enables litter to be removed from the house twice weekly, it is assumed that these emissions would be significantly less than a more traditional house where the bird droppings are allowed to accumulate in the house throughout the crop."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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