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Plans for two broilers in Worcestershire thrown out
CHEERS of delight rang out in a packed council chamber as plans for a chicken farm which could house 80,000 birds were thrown out.
The application, to create two units housing 40,000 broiler chickens each on land in Upton Snodsbury, was unanimously rejected by Wychavon District Council's planning committee on Thursday (10 Oct) after months of campaigning from local groups.
Three people spoke against the proposals for the farm, on land north east of Froghall Bungalow, Naunton Road.
These included Peter Holpin, of the Wychavon Parishes Action Group, which was set up by people from six villages to fight the application and submitted a petition with more than 500 names against the plans.
He said: “Despite the significant level of opposition the applicant has failed to conduct any consultation.
"A professional research study has shown that such an opportunity is not viable. It is economically unsustainable, there is demonstrable economic damage and flood and pollution risk. It doesn’t enhance the lives of any locals.
“There are genuine planning reasons for rejection of this application.”
Ian Pick, of Ian Pick Associates, the agent for applicant, Edward Davies, spoke in support of the plans.
He said: “This application has got a clean bill of health from all the consultees. Refusal would make a mockery of the system. It is a planning application, it’s not a referendum on desirability.”
Despite this and a recommendation from planning officers to approve the plans, councillors were all strongly against the proposal.
Coun Judy Pearce highlighted a nearby ditch, which she said has in the past flooded and had run into the nearby Piddle Brook, a site of local wildlife importance.
Coun Rob Adams said the application had split his head and his heart but ended saying: “What a beautiful part of Wychavon this is. I am not against this type of application but this one is in the wrong area.”
The question of animal cruelty was raised by Coun Emma Stokes, who said she felt it was important but was not allowed to speak about it.
Despite issues of cruelty not being discussed, the Worcestershire Vegans and Veggies group has been campaigning against the farm on this basis and encouraging people to stop eating chicken altogether.
Ronald Lee, communications officer for the group, said: “We are very happy plans to construct this intensive chicken farm near Upton Snodsbury have been rejected, but we don't want these terrible places to be built or exist anywhere, which will sadly continue to happen for as long as people consume the chickens they produce.
“That's why we are calling on people not to eat chicken, so that this appalling broiler industry comes to an end.”