A decision over a chicken farmer’s plans for an egg farm in Laughterton has been delayed following a backlash from objectors.
Andrew Arden has applied to West Lindsey District Council to build a free range poultry unit for around 32,000 hens on land at Naylors Hills off Newark Road.
However, more than 40 objections have been received to the plans and a PETA petition to stop them has been signed more than 13,000 times.
Documents before the council said Mr Arden’s application will allow his business to diversify “in order to address strong market demand for premium quality free range woodland eggs.”
“This will allow the business to remain economically viable and competitive,” they said.
“The development will also offer the collateral benefit of creating new jobs, thereby strengthening the local rural economy.”
It said the proposal would not have an effect on air quality or highways.
However, objectors say the proposals will cause smells and increase traffic, noise and pollution. They say it will ruin the character of the area.
Geoffrey Cleworth said: “I am shocked that an application to house so many chickens close to a pleasant residential village has been submitted.
“In addition to the smells that this will generate, there will be much greater commercial vehicle traffic through the village on a road which already has significant usage from HGVs going to and from the Humber ports.”
The PETA petition is based on animal welfare concerns. It said: “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing the UK needs is another animal farm
“The proposed facility would likely be a breeding ground for bird flu and could pose an immense risk to public health.
“If plans for this farm go ahead, they’ll be forced to spend their unnaturally short lives crammed into a barren shed, made to lay eggs in appalling conditions, day after day, as the intense strain on their bodies likely causes them to suffer from osteoporosis and sustain broken bones.”
The council has, however, received at least 15 letters of support for Mr Arden.
Don Fursden, from Newark, said: “We live adjacent to one of the Arden sites, this was the first site they built and we have to commend them as a business, the site looks well in the local area, birds look healthy and are indeed free range. It is well maintained with grassland and trees planted on the range area.”
Mark Johnson said: “Having been to Mr Ardens sites in the past, he takes a lot of pride in keeping them tidy and well maintained.
“We need to support British farming and recognise more job opportunities that this will create, even more so now because of the current climate.”
The application is set to go before planning committee on March 31.