Controversial chicken farm for 40,000 birds approved despite widespread opposition

Hole Farm in Belchamp St Paul, where the proposed chicken farm would be located. Picture: GOOGLE MAP

Hole Farm in Belchamp St Paul, where the proposed chicken farm would be located. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

The farm, which will see three large warehouses house a total of 39,999 chickens, is planned for Hole Farm in Knowl Green, Belchamp St Paul, on the Suffolk-Essex border.

The application, submitted by Lanpro Services on behalf of the developer, has been approved by Braintree District Council's planning committee despite vast objections from the community.

Anthony Osmond-Evans, who lives nearby, said: "A lot of people didn't know about the plans until they were accepted.

"I am really very concerned about the farm. The road that will be used for access is already dangerous. The county council have already banned HGVs from driving there so I do not know why they've changed their mind.

"Someone will die on that road.

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"We will fight this as hard as we can. We will speak to MPs and I'll even go to the prime minister to stop this farm from being built."

The seven and a half hectares of land is the current location of two Grade II listed buildings - an early 19th century farmhouse and a late 19th century cartshed and granary.

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A report described the buildings as an "irreplaceable resource".

However, planning officer Christopher Paggi concluded that the public interest of the construction of the farm outweighed the damage that will be caused to the buildings, which he described as "minimal".

A statement on behalf of the developer said: "The proposed development will form part of an existing farm, which will produce low density free range chickens which will be subject to both RSPCA assured standards and the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Poultry Scheme.

"There were a number of objections from local residents to the application but Braintree District Council found there to be no significant harms caused by the development and their committee members agreed with the recommendation of approval."

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