Shropshire Council’s southern planning committee has granted approval for the pig rearing operation at Manor Farm in Sheriffhales to be moved further away from the village, after it was found to be causing a statutory nuisance in the form of odour.
But an accompanying application for 31 houses on the current site – which the owners say is the only way to finance the move – was refused over concerns about over-development of the countryside setting and the impact on the village conservation area and listed buildings.
The plans for the farm would have seen the traditional barns converted into five homes, with the addition of 26 new builds.
More modern farm buildings were to be removed and like-for-like replacements built on a different site one mile from the village, accessed via a track off the A5 rather than a lane through the village as is currently the case.
Planning officer Richard Fortune told the committee that the farm was currently operating at a reduced capacity as a result of a court order, but “it’s clear there is still a nuisance being caused”.
Dr Alan MacWhannell, chairman of Sheriffhales Parish Council, spoke at the meeting against the applications.
He said there were concerns that, even at the new location, the pig buildings would cause an unacceptable odour.
Dr MacWhannell added that the proposed housing development had sparked “a significant level of alarm” in the village and would cause “permanent detriment” to the conservation area and heritage assets.
Applicant Anthony Robertson told members that the order limiting the number of pigs had eaten into the business’s reserves over the last two years and was not sustainable long-term.
Mr Robertson said: “The relocation of our farm away from the village is completely dependent on the enabling development.
“We have submitted a full viability assessment, which has been assessed by the district valuer.
“The district valuer confirms in their report to Shropshire Council that a minimum 31 dwellings is necessary on the existing site to finance this relocation, with the likelihood that we will also have to raise further funds.
“The environmental health department has stated that the removal of the farm is the only way to remove the nuisance.
“It’s clear that the current site of Manor Farm has become unacceptable to the residents of Sheriffhales.
“The community tensions are nearing breaking point.
“We must bring harmony back to our lovely village, and the only way we can see this is to finance the movement of the farm through a thoughtful, well-designed and sympathetic enabling development.”
The committee voted unanimously to approve the relocation of the pig farm.
Councillor Tony Parsons said: “The position of the new farm will be far better in terms of the problem of odour nuisance to the village of Sheriffhales.”
But members did not support the separate application for the housing development.
Proposing refusal, Councillor Andy Boddington said: “The logic of relocating the farm we have just agreed to.
“However, 31 houses in this location in Sheriffhales – a small, open countryside location – I think is too much.”
Meanwhile, a third application for a new equestrian building, also a proposed relocation of facilities on the existing farm, was approved.