Boxford: Complaints over ‘eyesore’ coops on ‘special landscape’

A MAN who rescued 100 battery-hens and set them up on rented farmland in Boxford has found himself at the centre of a planning dispute.

Animal-lover Robin Windmill, 42, installed the chickens on land next to Roylands Lane 18 months ago and he sells the eggs in the village.

But after he erected a series of ramshackle chicken hutches on what is described as a “special landscape” area, residents of seven neighbouring houses complained to the council about the noise, smell and the potential health risks.

So Babergh District Council instructed Mr Windmill to submit a formal planning application for a 20m by 15m building with a food store and staff facility to replace the temporary buildings.

Mr Windmill said: “My family and I just want to keep a few chickens as a hobby and most people in the village have been really supportive of what we’re doing.

You may also want to watch:

“I am aware that the site is not the prettiest place at the moment and I have been willing to do everything I can to improve the situation, but the neighbours seem dead set on getting me off the land.”

One of them, Brian Howe, said: “We were initially tolerant of Mr Windmill’s efforts and we even gave him access to water. But from the start of this year, it has become a shambles with escaped chickens digging up our plants and wandering into the main road.

Most Read

“Boxford is in a conservation area surrounded by special landscape areas and this site has become an eyesore which is totally inappropriate to the surroundings.”

Babergh councillor Bryn Hurren has called for a site visit before the application is discussed by the planning committee at the end of October.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter