Escape to the Country couple speak out about Glentham poultry plans

Fiona Pringle and Colin Cotter. EMN-170717-111556001
Fiona Pringle and Colin Cotter. EMN-170717-111556001

Eight years ago, one Kent couple thought their dreams had come true when they were handed the keys to their idyllic ‘Escape to the Country’ home.

But now, Fiona Pringle and Colin Cotter say their rural dream hangs in the balance as an application for a massive poultry unit has been put to West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee...on land just yards from their house.

The pair appeared on BBC’s Escape to the Country team when they moved to Glentham from ‘semi-rural’ Kent. They had spent ten years considering a move .

They made the move to help grow their home-run business - which, ironically, specializes in the advice and products required for incubating, brooding or rearing of poultry.

They also wanted to secure more land for their own 200 show birds and ex-battery hens!

Since moving, Fiona and Colin have established two other giftware and gardening businesses.

Fiona said: “We had been wanting to move for around ten years with no luck.

“So I emailed Escape to the Country on a complete whim, never expecting to hear back from them.

“I got a phone call the next day and the BBC were in our house filming the day after!”

Colin said: “We never really looked at Lincolnshire a location to move to as we’d tried to stick to near motorways - Wisbech was about as close as we had considered.

“But we were blown away by the fantastic sky and landscape here - you can just see for miles.

“The programme found us our perfect home which we tried to buy for a year - but the owners pulled out.

“We kept looking in the area as we were determined that this was the place for us - and eventually found another house in the village.

“It was a slightly more indirect route to a new home than we’d hoped for, but it all worked out for the best - until now.”

The couple, who are animal lovers through and through, enjoy seeing an unspoilt view and wildlife in an untouched habitat right through their very own window.

But they fear a ten-building poultry unit housing 400,000 birds will ‘ruin every aspect’ of their dream.

Colin said: “We work very hard in the day and enjoy our perfect view in the evening - it makes it all worthwhile.

“Every night we see the wildlife come out to play and it’s just magical.”

The pair have contacted local MP Sir Edward Leigh with their concerns, and they say he is ‘behind them 100 per cent.’

Fiona said: “He told us if this plan is rejected and then goes to appeal, he will write to the Home Secretary.”

Fiona added: “We invested in living here to get away from all the artificial light of an urban home.

“This unit would have to be lit up somehow and we’d be back to where we started.

“We couldn’t live here if it went ahead - but what if buyers share our feelings about living next to a chicken farm and we can’t sell our house?

“This (our home) is what we have always wanted, but a massive poultry unit, we think, would ruin every aspect of our dream.”