A £250,000 development to double the capacity of a major agricultural business has been approved.

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Mid Suffolk District Council gave the green light to the proposals by J H Lambert Ltd, based on Eye Airfield, which will see it build an extension to its abattoir.

The abattoir, which is used by 1,500 farms in the region, will now be able to handle 900 pigs.

Some businesses from the airfield had started a petition opposing the plans and travelled to hear the council’s verdict yesterday.

Eye Town Council had earlier voted against the proposals because councillors argued it would be an “over-development” on the site and would increase noise and odour levels as well as the amount of traffic.

Councillor Matthew Hicks is chairman of the Mid Suffolk committee which voted unanimously in favour of the proposals.

He said: “All the issues that the objectors brought up were brought in front of the committee. All the issues were discussed and we had a full and frank discussion about it.

“We went through the officer’s recommendation and the conclusion we came to was that it was the right decision.”

Mid Suffolk council officers argued the proposal was ‘in keeping with the locality’ and would not cause an ‘unacceptable harmful impact’ to wildlife or the area generally. The proposal would also provide economic benefits, according to the officers.

The building development will be 6,600 square feet in size and will create reserve capacity for livestock at the abattoir.

No-one from J H Lambert Ltd was available to comment on the planning decision.

The company’s managing director Kevin Burrows had previously told the EADT he understood some of the concerns.

But he said the abattoir was “vital” for the area’s farming industry and needed to stay open. New foreign exports and jobs would also be created from the building development, he added.

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