Eye: Farm in bid to house 43,000 extra chickens

PLANS for two new sheds at a remote chicken farm that will allow it to house an extra 43,000 birds have been put forward.

The proposals have been submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council and relate to Fennings Farm in Pixey Green, at Stradbroke, near Eye.

The farm is owned by C E Davidson Ltd and currently accommodates about 150,000 birds and the addition of the new sheds would increase the capacity to more than 190,000 chickens.

In April, the council refused an application for new sheds at Fennings Farm due to highways issues and because the documents submitted failed to “secure and safeguard” the appropriate provision of long-term landscaping for the site.

But six weeks ago a similar application for the expansion of a nearby chicken operation at Ebdens Farm, which had previously been refused, was successfully appealed.

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In the light of that announcement by the planning inspectorate, C E Davidson both were advised to appeal the April refusal for Fennings Farm and also re-submit a new version of the plans, covering all of its bases.

The new plans were drawn-up and handed in late last month and the council is aiming to make a decision in January.

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In a supporting statement for the re-submitted plans, agents Nicholas G Bailey of Eye say the extra sheds would only lead to an increase of 2.4 traffic movements per week.

A detailed landscaping maintenance schedule has also been completed in order to satisfy any concerns planning officials have over the proposals.

The report states: “The proposed development presents no extraordinary hazards to the environment. The existing site has a proven track record of responsible management and the existing owner has a vested interest in ensuring that the light increases in waste and dirty water resulting from the development are handled in the same efficient and environmentally sensitive manner.

“The site will lead to a small increase in local labour opportunities as an existing part-time employee would become full-time.

“It would also ensure that the food production and processing process is kept ecologically sustainable and economically efficient.

“The proposal will maintain the financial viability of the Fennings Farm, which leases the site to Crown Chicken Limited, currently employing in excess of 300 people.”

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