Chicken farm for 200,000 birds rejected amid fears of ‘unacceptable’ smell

Broiler chickens at a UK farm Picture: PA

The site in Thorndon, near Eye, would have been held up to 188,000 broiler chickens. Stock photo - Credit: PA

Concerns over "unacceptable" odours have led to plans for a 200,000-bird chicken farm in Thorndon, near Eye, to be rejected.

The development, which was planned to replace existing dilapidated poultry sheds, would see four units holding up to 188,000 broiler chickens built on Castle Hill Farm, in Thorndon.

The four barns were planned for a patch of arable land and would have been 97.5m long and 22.9m wide.

A number of ancillary buildings were also planned, including office space and feed silos.

In the plans, applicant Castle Hill Chicken Ltd said it intended to help supply the new £74million Crown Chicken processing factory at Eye.

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However, concerns were raised over the odour created by the site, which could produce an "unacceptable" impact. 

Officers advised Mid Suffolk District Council's development control committee to reject the plans. 

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It was said by officers that the development will produce an "unacceptable level of odour impact", specifically affecting the adjacent business site, run by Covance Ltd, that would result in a "loss of amenity at the premises".

The application submitted by Castle Hill Chicken Ltd said: “The old poultry sheds have come to the end of their life and need replacing.

"We are located just a few miles away from the Cranswick Chicken factory at Eye, allowing us to be a local supplier.

“Arable farming is not a great income on its own, nowadays an 800-acre farm is relatively small compared with larger, more industrial outfits.

“The modern poultry sheds proposed will allow for longevity and for farming to continue within the family.”

The Environment Agency reviewed the plans to see whether the smell caused by the new buildings would have an impact on the surrounding area, including the neighbouring Covance complex.

It concluded that there are a number of reasons why the impact of potential odours on the site would have been unacceptable.

For example, the site employs a "significant" number of workers - believed to be approximated 300 people.

The building has air intake equipment which may help smells enter the site, it added - meaning the risk of a negative impact was too high for the plans to be approved.

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