Anger at farm night work plan

Bleasby Moor residents action group with the units in the background EMN-150529-104555001
Bleasby Moor residents action group with the units in the background EMN-150529-104555001

An action group has re-formed to fight plans for a 300,000-bird chicken farm that would operate in the middle of the night.

Back in 2013 Bleasby Moor Against Development (BMAD) campaigners were furious when West Lindsey District Council gave the green light to Jagger Poultry’s plan to convert a former egg laying unit at Hill Top Farm into buildings for chickens to be bred specifically for meat production.

And now Jagger Poultry has applied to WLDC to change a planning condition which prevents any loading or unloading of vehicles between 10pm and 7am.

The company wants permission to load birds onto lorries on 26 nights of the year - but BMAD says any night work will disturb residents.

BMAD campaigner Andy White said: “We’re opposing it for any activity between 10pm and 7am.

“We think any night work, because of the close proximity to the village, will disturb residents.

“It’s so quiet around here at night, any noise will be heard.”

Mr White said that of the 26 houses in the village, 20 were opposing the plans.

“It’s an overwhelming rejection,” he said.

BMAD opposed the original application because of concerns about excessive dust, noise, smells and soil and water pollution.

They were worried the site would have a detrimental impact on their health.

The farm, which will have eight huts, is not yet operating and residents are still upset about the plans.

Mr White said: “It’s a nice little country village.

“The broiler is 100 per cent different to the layer unit.

“All the activity on a large industrial unit will be noisy.

“And being so close it’ll be difficult not to see them.

“When it’s up and running it’ll have a great impact on life in the village, especially early in the morning.”

Jagger Poultry says there are a limited number of factories that can take the birds - and those that can have an issue with the overnight 
restriction.

A statement in Jagger Poultry’s latest application says: “As things stand the owners would be denied a market for the chicken unless there is a way forward on this 
condition.

“In effect they have a planning permission which is difficult to implement.”

Mr White says 26 nights per year could result in disruption every two weeks.

“We could get noise every two weeks, it could be several nights in a row on some weeks,” Mr White said.

But Jagger Poultry insists its operation will be quiet and will not disturb villagers.

Its planning statement said: “Removal of poultry is a quiet period as it purely involves picking the birds up, putting them carefully into crates and loading the crates onto a lorry.

“Noise is minimal so as to not compromise the welfare of the birds.

“The processing factory to which the finished birds are taken work 24 hours a day with the live birds arriving at the beginning of the process.

“Birds are killed from early hours of themorning through the early part of the day for onward processing and delivery to customers asfresh product.

“Birds are collected from the early hours of the morning which is more desirable as they are quieter during the night.”

The company said it was impractical from a welfare perspective to catch birds before 10 pm and leave on a lorry for several hours before the processing plant was ready to receive them.

The application will be determined by WLDC’s planning committee in the coming months.