West Lindsey District Council blocks chicken farm’s controversial plan to work overnight

Bleasby Moor poultry protestors EMN-160718-130059001
Bleasby Moor poultry protestors EMN-160718-130059001
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A controversial plan for a chicken farm to operate in the middle of the night has been thrown out by West Lindsey District Council.

Jagger Poultry, near Bleasby Moor, had applied to the authority for permission to change a planning condition which prevents any loading or unloading of vehicles between 10pm and 7am.

The company, at Hill Top Farm, Lissington, wanted to to load birds onto lorries on 26 nights of the year.

But villagers from action group Bleasby Moor Against Development (BMAD) said the work would be noisy and would disturb their sleep.

The nearest property is just 15o metres from the site of the farm.

The council rejected the application saying the applicant had not shown any evidence that the proposal would not lead to detrimental conditions for nearby residents.

In a statement, the council said: “No compelling evidence has been submitted to demonstrate that the use of this site as proposed only 150 metres from the nearest dwelling would not lead to conditions seriously detrimental to adjoining residential amenity through unacceptable levels of noise and disturbance not only from commercial vehicles arriving and leaving from the premises but also from the associated activities and noise arising out of clearing out the poultry from the sheds and loading them into trucks.”

Back in 2013, 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.

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.

BMAD campaigner Andy 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.”

Mr White said 20 of the 26 households in the village were opposed to the night work plan.

He said: “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.”

And Mr White said 26 nights of work per year could have resulted in disruption every two weeks.

Jagger Poultry says there are a limited number of factories that can take the birds.

And it says 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.”

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. Jagger Poultry can now lodge an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in order to try and overturn West Lindsey District Council’s decision.

Under current guidelines, the company has six months to make any appeal.

Jagger Poultry’s plan statement

“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. 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.”