APPLAUSE broke out in a packed council chamber when plans to build a "chicken city" housing 160,000 birds in a Worcestershire village were rejected.

The controversial application for the broiler farm on land north east of Froghall Bungalow, Naunton Road, in Upton Snodsbury, has always been opposed by both the planning committee and local residents.

But permission was granted following an appeal in January for two units, each housing 40,000 birds.

Despite this Wychavon Planning Committee railed against the recommendation to approve the plans and said no to the application by Edward Davies on Thursday.

Their decision was met with delight by many, who feel the site is the wrong place for this type of industrial development.

Speaking after the meeting Michael Rowe, of Naunton Beauchamp, said: "We are definitely pleased with the outcome. I think people were worried with the fact the decision last time got over ruled at appeal. But I am really pleased, just because two were approved doesn't mean four should be.

"The meeting was pretty well attended. We had a town hall meeting in the run up and there was about 100 people there. It just highlights the concern that people have around this.

"So it goes on to appeal, we have to be smarter this time."

Peter Holpin, of the Wychavon Parishes Action Group, spoke at the meeting raising concerns about the sustainability of the development and the wide range of local and environmental concerns, including noise, smell and pollution worries.

Supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got behind the parishes and sent 26,000 emails objecting to the development to Wychavon District Council.

PETA UK Director Mimi Bekhechi said: "The people of Wychavon have made it clear that they don't want this chicken hellhole anywhere near them.

"Chickens raised on factory farms rarely – if ever – smell fresh air or feel the sun on their backs until the day when they are sent off to slaughter."

The smell was also a concern by residents and they were supported in their concerns by councillors who believed the cleaning out process would take around four days, totally 49 days a year. This was a lot more than the hour the inspector had previously stated.

It was also revealed at the meeting by chairman and ward member councillor Linda Robinson that another developer is currently in pre-application talks with the council regarding a chicken farm that could house up to 250,000 birds in a neighbouring field.

"It's a little over a year since we considered the applicants last application and before anything is built or started we are being asked to double it," she said.

"As last time there has been considerable local concern.

"The applicant also stated in public that they intend to apply for another shed and a dwelling on the site."

Cllr Robinson added that she would like the two applications, for 160,000 and for 250,000 to be considered in conjunction with each other by the Environment Agency when they applied for permits that would be required.

Liz Holpin, also of Naunton Beauchamp, added: "We are absolutely delighted with the result. We expect the applicants to take it to appeal now."

During the debate councillor Rob Adams said he was concerned Upton Snodsbury would become "chicken city".

"We recognise the need for this type of development and there's no doubt in my mind that they will be well looked after but why didn't Mr Davies get on and build the two?

"This time we know there are others in the pipeline.

"I see these types of application that are in the wrong place as I believe this is and it's difficult to put out of my mind what's in the future."

The Wychavon Parishes Action Group will be meeting with the Environment Agency on Tuesday, September 23, at Upton Snodsbury Church from 7.30pm to discuss the potential of the new chicken farm. There will also be a drop in session between 3pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday, with the Environment Agency at Upton Snodsbury Village Hall.