April 27, 2022 11.58 am This story is over 25 months old

Intensive chicken farm approved, despite almost 300 objections

They raised concerns about the smell and ammonia levels

A poultry farm which will house more than 300,000 chickens at once has been approved despite residents’ fears about the smell.

The £6 million facility at Leadenham attracted 281 objections from concerned local people.

However, North Kesteven District Council’s planning committee backed the plans last night, saying there was no reason to believe that it would have an impact on them.

Six poultry houses for broiler chicken production will now be built at Leadenham Poultry Farm on Sleaford Road.

The applicant was submitted by Richard Williams who runs several other similar farms in Lincolnshire.

Jane Salmon, who lives in the nearby village of Brant-Broughton, warned councillors that the farm would harm local businesses.

“This large scale industrial development will blight lives of residents and businesses alike. The planning department has not taken into account multiple objections, including farmers who say it’s in the wrong place,” she said.

“The reports claim it is a ‘remote rural area’ but it is less than a mile away from Brant Broughton, and only two fields away from two tourist sites. These businesses, a caravan site and a glamping site, rely on good reviews and bring hundreds of visitors to the area. This will be a detriment to them.”

The farm will supply a nearby chicken processing facility | Photo: PETA UK

Councillor Marianne Overton MBE, who represents the ward, also said she had serious concerns.

“This is an extremely large development which people are concerned about. Just because there are others in the area doesn’t mean we want more,” she said.

She added that she didn’t have much faith in computer models which said smell levels would be acceptable, saying: “They will look at annual average which won’t worry you – it will be the one-off events [which will cause problems.]”

Ian Pick, the applicant’s agent, said the site had been chosen specifically to minimise impact.

“A plethora of technical assessments have been carried out on the site suitability, looking at odour, ammonia, highways, landscape. The assessments show that the development falls well below thresholds,” he said.

“This site has exceptional merits. It is 550m from nearest neighbour and 1.4km from the nearest settlement of Brant Broughton. This is far greater than the guidance from the Environment Agency, which is 400m.”

Other members of the planning committee said these types of development were to be expected in open countryside.

Councillor Terry Boston said: “Lincolnshire is an agricultural county. There are beautiful views, but agriculture has been in existence and has been complained about since draining of fens. It is a fact of life. We must continue the tradition of agriculture in this area.”

He added that the council would likely lose a costly appeal if they rejected it.

Councillor Ian Carrington agreed, saying: “There is nothing strange about this kind of use in this area. It is well separated from residential areas.

“A million or 600,000 chickens would be a lot, but 300,000 is par for the course.

“There is no reason to doubt the officers’ reports which say there will be no harm to nearby residents.”

The plans were approved by nine votes to two.