Residents fight against broiler plans

The site of the proposed broiler units
The site of the proposed broiler units

Plans to build on farm land at North Owersby have been described as “industrialisation of the countryside” by protestors.

Mercer Farm Poultry, based in Staffordshire, has submitted an application to build six broiler rearing units and associated buildings on agricultural land off Gulham Road.

Now residents of North Owersby and neighbouring villages have formed an action group to oppose the plans.

“The application 
doesn’t comply with so many planning policies,” said Diane Marshall, who has lived in Gulham Road almost all her life and is heading up the action group.

“This is rural countryside at its best and this application is industrialisation and desecration of the countryside and we hope local planners will see that.”

The biggest concern for the group is the volume of traffic the units would attract.

“Feed lorries would be coming in daily – 44 ton HGVs – and the proposed route from the A631 is a single track road with no adequate passing places,” said Mrs Marshall.

Last winter, after concerns from residents over the state of this road, the highways authority put up a sign at 
its junction with the A631 to say the road was unsuitable for HGVs.

“The area is used by a lot of cyclists and walkers, so this would be a huge amenity loss to all those people,” added Mrs Marshall.

“There are concerns over the impact on wildlife in the neighbouring woodland area too and, of course, the impact of the equestrian and tourism businesses on the proposed route to the site.

“They (Mercer Farm Poultry) haven’t seriously considered 
this site in terms of suitability at all.

“The plans would have such a dramatic impact on the environment in so many way, I find it incredible they have submitted it; they just seem to be taking advantage of this land here in an isolated position.”

The action group has arranged a public meeting for Thursday, December 5 
at 7.30pm in Osgodby Village Hall.

Meanwhile, for information on the group email