LETTER: Poultry development will not have adverse impact on Bleasby Moor

With reference to your article in last week’s paper concerning the proposed re-development of the farm near the Hamlet of Bleasby Moor, it is only fair and reasonable that you give a balanced report and inform your readers of the actual facts.

Firstly, there has been poultry at the farm here for at least 60 plus years. Secondly this is not some “new” development but a proposal to replace seven existing sheds with four modern more efficient more carbon friendly sheds. No “larger”, as they claim, than the existing farm.

A lot of consideration has been given to the proposed development and its’ reduced environmental and visual impact. The fact that the farm is within 400 meters of the farm is because houses have been built near the farm, not the other way around.

In all instances there is less of everything with two exceptions, traffic which, the same as before, none will go through the hamlet and which will be approximately the same as previous.

The number of birds on the total site will increase although the actual number of birds on the side of the road nearest the hamlet will be slightly less to the previous stocking numbers of the existing sheds, so no increase there.

On the issue of noise, there will be a reduction from 100 fans to 60; these will be quieter and more efficient. Less manure produced due to the method of production. Considerably less pollutants, as shown in the application. The new sheds will also have a lower profile as will the new feed bins, again more modern and quieter.

If you look up the word “hamlet” in the OED. It describes “A group of dwellings in the countryside without a church”. Most of the dwellings in the hamlet have been built since the farm has been in existence and most of the residents have moved here whilst the farm has already been operating for decades. If farming can’t be in the countryside where can it be?

Some residents have complained about various concerns they considered to be emanating from this farm over the years, all have been intensely investigated by both the Environment Agency and West Lindsey District Council Environment Department.

The complaints were found to be unsubstantiated. Every farm now has to operate under strict environment rules and regulations. All we are attempting to do is improve the farm and the surrounding environment, with the proximity of the Hamlet taken into consideration.

One of the quotes from the objectors is that “Since the farm has been empty, since January 2012, life has been so much better for the local residents”

In fact one of the sheds did not empty until May 2012, two did not empty until the end of October 2012 and one not until 18th February 2013 this year.

So the farm is such a “nuisance” that it has been still operating until this week and the residents were not aware of the so called “noise, dust, smell” etc. that they claim we produce. I leave your readers to draw their own conclusion.

One of the main protagonists lives right next door to a Dairy Farm, again established and operating before they moved into the Hamlet and sited within the Hamlet.

I question, is it their intention to try to shut them down next, stop tractors operating in the fields next to them etc. etc? Is it sensible to move next to a railway station and then complain about trains or an airport and complain about aircraft, do people not expect farming when they move into the countryside?

What none of the objectors seems to realize is that if we are not allowed to replace the old sheds with new ones, then it is simply a question of re-stocking in the existing ones with poultry again, which we need no planning approval, rather than the vastly improved set-up we are applying for.

It is also claimed that there is 100% support for their objections, this is untrue as there are many residents who are not objecting to the proposal, just one of the many inaccuracies in their written and quoted objections.

Had any of the objectors approached us to discuss the application, or had we been invited to the many Parish meetings, as we are not members of their Parish, the farm being in the Parish of Lissington, they have held on the subject, this could all have been explained.

We have always had an “open door” policy and willingly shown, unannounced, inspectors, councillors and visitors all around our farm, we are and always have been approachable and willing to discuss any issues, isn’t it a shame the sentiment isn’t reciprocated?.

D.J.Palmer. (Owner and farmer)

Hill Top Farm