Shropshire Star

Appeal for legal action against chicken farm near Bridgnorth raises over £2,000

Campaigners are pressing ahead with legal action against a planned chicken farm near Bridgnorth after raising more than £2,000 towards their appeal.

Campaigners against the farm

The Tasley Chicken Factory Farm Action Group has raised a judicial review against Shropshire Council after planning approval was given for a 210,000-bird unit in Tasley.

Campaigners say the review cites "inadequacies" in the manure management report and the council’s "failure to take account of the impact of spreading manure from the chicken farm on the residents of Bridgnorth".

The group launched an online appeal to help fund the process and more than £2,100 has now been raised which has allowed the first stage – of submitting a pre-action protocol letter to Shropshire Council – to go ahead.

The group's chairman, David Baker, revealed the news when he approached Bridgnorth Town Council for help at a meeting on Monday evening.

He said: "We've raised over £2,000 in terms of contributions towards our costs.

"As of last Friday we have issued papers for a judicial review."

He called on Bridgnorth Town Council to help the group put pressure on Shropshire Council, saying: "This is an issue of health for a lot of people.

"I would like to see the council being very positive about doing something to try and support us. "All pressure from whatever avenue is greatly accepted."

Bridgnorth's mayor, Councillor Ron Whittle, said the town council had previously objected to the planning application.

The planning application initially received more than 300 objections in total before it was approved by Shropshire Council's planning committee in August.

Bridgnorth town councillor David Cooper proposed that the town council should call on Shropshire Council to monitor levels of particulate matter at the site to see if the chicken farm produces particles in the air that can be hazardous to health.

Councillors unanimously accepted the proposal in a vote.

The plans for Footbridge Farm involve four poultry buildings, a gatehouse and a water tank.

Protesters have expressed concerns over smell, dust and potential health implications it could cause.

Full judicial review costs are expected to cost between £30,000 and £40,000.

The next stage in the process will be getting a legal team to draft a "statement of facts and grounds" that will be sent to a judge to decide whether the case can be heard in court or not.

Previously, agent Ian Pick, who represents the applicants, said that the plans meet relevant criteria, adding: "The application was submitted for the project. It's been assessed by all the technical consultees and they've all confirmed that the development is compliant with regulations.

"It has then been to the committee and been approved. I accept that the objected are aggrieved but planning decisions can't be made on what you perceive to be a problem, they are evidence based."

To support the campaign group's appeal visit