May 26, 2021 9.27 am This story is over 6 months old

“Say no to the stink”: Protesters slam Norton Disney animal rendering plant plans

Plans yet to be decided

Protesters have slammed plans for a controversial animal rendering plant to be built at Villa Farm in Norton Disney, chanting “say no to the stink” outside Sleaford council offices.

North Kesteven District Council told Lincolnshire County Council on Tuesday evening, the lead decision maker on the major application, it did not believe there was a demand for the facility.

The proposal is yet to be approved.

Witham Valley Park Preservation Group protesting outside North Kesteven District Council. | Photo: James Mayer

The district council planning committee raised objections, questioning the need for the plant, visual, historical and environmental impacts, as well as odour – with local protesters in agreement.

Lincoln Proteins Ltd resubmitted its planning application for the facility at Villa Farm on Folly Lane after it was refused in February 2020 by the county council.

At the time of refusal, councillors cited concerns over heritage and location.

Applicants persevered, arguing the new build will bring 20 jobs and also apprenticeships to the local area.

The new proposal includes one change, the flue (chimney) height has been reduced from 35m to 25m, complying with air quality and odour standards, but reducing landscape impact.

In the meeting, Richard Parker, from the Witham Valley Park Preservation Group objected to plans for the “mega-factory” in the meeting, saying it “fails to address the planning issues” and is “simply not needed locally”.

Protestors outside North North Kesteven District Council. | Photo: James Mayer

North Kesteven councillors agreed and expressed their disappointment in the development, with North Disney Parish councillor Vanessa Hall saying she will object for “as long as it takes”.

When plans were originally submitted, there were objections from both local residents and North Kesteven District Council over odour and location.

Protestor outside North North Kesteven District Council. | Photo: James Mayer

The county council received 1,105 letters of objection as there were fears the facility would “overshadow” the Lancaster Bomber gateway sculpture being built off the A46.

Rendering is a process that converts waste animal tissue into stable, usable materials such as lard or tallow with the majority of tissue processed from animals coming from slaughterhouses.

Witham Park Preservation Group’s protest banner. | Photo: James Mayer

North Kesteven District Council’s current objections are over the fact “the applicant had not demonstrated a need for the development”.

It also highlighted the “adverse landscape and visual impacts stemming from the bulk, scale, mass, height and orientation of these large scale industrial buildings”.

North Kesteven council added: “The proposals have the potential to impact on the setting and significance of designated heritage assets in proximity to the site, including the Norton Disney Roman Villa Scheduled Monument.”

“Odour sensitivities” is still an objection the district council has.

Villa Farm proposed development.

However, Alan Asker, operations manager, previously said: “Lincoln Proteins remain committed to a project which offers sustainable jobs within the food manufacturing industry, a vital addition to the Lincolnshire economy in times such as these.”

Last month, the controversial Norton Disney site was dug up by amateur archaeologists to search for ancient artefacts, where Iron Age treasures were discovered.

Plans were unanimously approved in February 2021 to demolish an existing animal by-products processing plant and build a new processing plant at the farm on Jerusalem Road in Skellingthorpe.

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