Historic interest speculation could delay chicken farm plans

Plans to build two chicken egg laying units on a Shropshire farm face a delay as the site could have some historical interest.

Historic interest speculation could delay chicken farm plans

Ellerdine Grange Farm, at Ellerdine, between Newport and Shawbury, has submitted plans to Telford & Wrekin Council for two barn egg laying units which would hold a total of 48,000 chickens.

The units would have a south facing roof with 1,032 solar panels which would generate sufficient electricity to power 200 homes.

Shropshire Council’s historic environment team has however urged that an assessment of the site is carried out before a planning decision is made.

They say the development lies with an area with a ‘background of archaeological remains of the prehistoric through to post-medieval periods’.

Officers want to complete an assessment of the site including a geophysical survey and targeted trial trenching to assess the ‘extent, survival and significance’ of any remains.

The applicant says that if approved, the units, off Hazels Road, would be visited several times a week by lorries to bring birds to the site, deliver feed and for egg collection.

“Should the farm be reused for its original dairy farming use, the traffic generation would involve a daily HGV milk tanker, together with substantial movements for feed, bedding and fodder,” the application’s design and access statement said.

“Given the former use of the farm for dairy, there is a clear argument that the traffic generation associated with the proposed development represents no more traffic than the historic use of the site as a dairy farm.”

Pre-application advice from Telford & Wrekin Council and highways highlighted that from the A53 and A442 to the site the road was ‘narrow in places with limited places for passing’.

It also highlighted the ‘tight geometry of bends’ and a ’90 degree bend’ to the north of the farm and said site access ‘look particularly constrained’.

Two objections to the plans have been received by fellow residents of Ellerdine, who state that the road leading to the site is ‘not suitable for lorries’ and to increase traffic flow ‘would be hazardous’.

The plans state that if the egg laying units are refused then the site would revert back to being a dairy farm using the existing farm buildings which provide facilities for dairy cattle.

The applicant’s design and access statement concludes: “The proposal in question has been carefully considered by the applicants and the numerous assessments undertaken, together with the plans ensure that the proposal does not give rise to any unacceptable effects.

“The proposal is an economic development; it amounts to sustainable development that will improve the agricultural business located on site.

“Adequate provision is made for the disposal of foul and surface water drainage and animal wastes without risks to watercourses through sustainable drainage techniques.

“Adequate provision is made for access and movement of machinery to avert the perpetuation, intensification or creation of traffic hazards.”

A decision on the proposal will be taken at a later date.

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