Plans for new chicken farm attracts opposition from animal rights campaigners

The plans for the farm in Oakley Road, Wix, Essex, are available on the Tendring District Council we

The plans for the farm in Oakley Road, Wix, Essex, are available on the Tendring District Council website Picture: THEGREENJ - Credit: THEGREENJ

Plans for a chicken farm which could house up to 100,000 birds are being defended after animal rights activists gathered 17,000 signatures for a petition opposing the project.

A H Brown Farms is applying to build a 21-acre commercial farm close in Oakley Road, between the villages of Wix and Great Oakley in Essex, with barns capable of holding thousands of chickens to be reared and sold for meat.

Consultees such as Anglian Water and Essex County Council have raised no issues with the plans, but the application has attracted objections from villagers worried about HGVs on their country lanes and the smell of manure.

Now, the US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has responded to the plans with a petition of 17,000 signatures calling for it to be scrapped.

Thousands of compassionate people have spoken, and Tendring District Council should heed their concerns for animal welfare, the environment, and the health of the community,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen.

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The charity, known for their controversial protests against factory farming, fur farming and animal testing, are decrying the plans as harmful to the thousands of chickens that would be reared there and ruining the natural landscape.

A spokesman for A H Brown said: “This unit will operate to Britain’s world-leading food safety, welfare and environmental standards.

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“It’s been sensitively sited to reduce any visual impact with a total of three dwellings falling within a 1.5km diameter and we have worked carefully throughout to address any local concerns, including minimising any potential odour issues.

“The proposed buildings are of the highest specification to ensure the highest standards for the chickens and that the surrounding environment is maintained and is free from odour.

“The site has been approved and been granted a permit by the Environment Agency in line with their strict criteria.

“Sales of poultry meat are continuing to grow year-on-year in the UK and this development will help to meet that demand – producing safe, nutritious and affordable British food to British standards.”

The plans are publicly available on the Tendring District Council website.

More than 60 objections have been made to the plans, almost exclusively from residents of the two nearby villages.

Mark Denny, who lives in Oakley Road in Wix, said: “This small village does not need the additional traffic that such business would attract.”

“Also this particular build would create odours and we would not be able to enjoy our own gardens without being affected by this,” he added.

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