Plans for 21,000 duck farm

A FARMER who controversially won permission to rear 12,000 birds in a rural hamlet hopes to expand his operations with a second larger complex for 21,000 ducks.

John Howard

A FARMER who controversially won permission to rear 12,000 birds in a rural hamlet hopes to expand his operations with a second larger complex for 21,000 ducks.

Despite local concerns Mid Suffolk district councillors approved the development for 12,000 birds in Mendlesham Green, near Stowmarket, last summer.

Stowupland-based applicants Allard and Co wanted to create the operation at The Cedars, which was already used for pig farming.

Now Robert Bloom, a partner with Allard's, said they hope to build a further duck rearing business within mid Suffolk, this time at Grove Farm on The Common, at Botesdale.

Mr Bloom, whose firm bought 100 acres of land there last year, said that the site has already been used for 9,000 birds in the past so he is simply adding capacity for an extra 12,000.

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If approved the operation would involve growing the ducks during a nine week cycle, with muck being stored on an existing pad, before being spread.

The majority of the work on site would continue every day of the week including bank holidays between 7am and 7pm and the birds would be delivered as day old ducklings.

The company, which is experienced within the industry and already has a further two duck buildings at Stowupland, would farm the birds for Gressingham Farms, based at Debach Airfield.

Mr Bloom's agents Tim Harbord Associates, from Lavenham, said there would not be a significant number of extra lorries during the rearing process and there would be no need for traffic to go through any built up areas before reaching the A143.

And Andrew Stringer, the mid Suffolk district councillor who represents Mendlesham, said last night that he did not think the Botesdale development would cause anything like the furore that the one within his ward had.

He said: “The Botesdale site is in stark contrast to the Mendlesham one. It is not in a village centre location and is close to a major road network, the A143, if there are going to be deliveries the closer to a major road the better.

“I imagine this will cause a lot less concern, although it was in the exclusion area after the last bird flu outbreak and that has to be a concern.”

Mid Suffolk District Council is consulting residents living nearby as well as Botesdale Parish Council and the environmental health department before reaching a decision, but said the application is at an early stage.

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