Environment

A previously-rejected 270,000 intensive chicken farm near Grantham has received backlash from animal rights campaigners after plans have been resubmitted to the council.

South Kesteven District Council rejected the proposals in February 2020 due to concerns from the Woodland Trust over the impact of ammonia on a nearby ancient woodland.

This is the second time in a week PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has put pressure on a Lincolnshire council over chicken farm plans. Last week, West Lindsey District Council approved an egg farm with 32,000 hens in Laughterton.

If approved in South Kesteven’s Planning Committee next Wednesday, the plans will see a six-shed farm built at High Dike, in Great Ponton.

Elisa Allen, PETA UK’s director said: “South Kesteven District Council has a duty to the taxpaying public, not to a bullying business that will bring misery and death to thousands of sensitive animals – it’s that simple.

“Knowing that on industrial broiler farms, chickens are reared to grow so large that some cannot even stand or support their own unnatural weight and the ammonia from their accumulated waste burns their lungs and skin, how could the council possibly allow such an operation?

“This disgusting factory farm would be a blight on the local landscape and devastating for the community and the environment.

“For the sake of millions of birds – this facility would house up to 270,000 at a time – and local residents, councillors must honour their original decision and reject this proposal.”

PETA gifted the council a vegan hamper as thanks for rejecting initial proposals.

Site layout plans for the chicken farm.

Developers RSK ADAS Ltd said: “The proposed development is needed to meet an existing market demand for UK sourced poultry.

“It is economically and environmentally preferable to meet this demand through diversification of developing new sites, such as at land near Railway Farm, which will breathe new industry into the rural economy of Grantham.”

Previously, a nearby school said parents had threatened to remove their children and that its existence was “under threat”.

Councillors were also angered by a “threatening” and “intimidating” letter from the applicant’s solicitor.

The Woodland Trust has maintained its objection to the application with regards to the ancient woodland.

A report before councillors next Wednesday says an appeal to the decision was made, but later withdrawn.

Compared to 144 objections and a 25,000 signature petition last year, only 13 households have raised concerns to this latest application.

The application is also supported by Great Ponton Parish Council and no objections have been received from the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire County Council Highways or Natural England.

A total of 67 fines were given to people walking their dogs on Cleethorpes beach over the Easter weekend.

People are now banned from walking dogs along the central beach until September 30.

Police gave out the £100 fines to people walking their pets between Cleethorpes Leisure Centre and Wonderland Groyne on the beach.

Twelve fines were issued on Friday, followed by nine on Saturday, 26 on Sunday and 20 on Bank Holiday Monday.

The measure has been brought in on Good Friday, as Cleethorpes beach is a site of special scientific interest, meaning it is home to a number of rare habitats and bird species.

Dogs on the coast can disturb wildlife living on the beach, particularly migratory birds that rest in Cleethorpes ahead of long journeys.

North East Lincolnshire Council has condemned aggressive behaviour after one of its environment enforcement officers was assaulted on Cleethorpes beach, while issuing a fine to a dog walker over the Easter weekend.

A spokesperson for the council said: “This is totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate violence, physical aggression or verbal abuse of officers working on our behalf.”

Hammy the Haddock is a recycling bin in Cleethorpes, designed to stop people littering on the coast. | Photo: James Williams

As well as dog walking fines, 11 people were also penalised for littering in the area over the bank holiday weekend.

These fines add on to the 35 that were given to people for littering on the week of March 29, when lockdown restrictions eased to allow for outdoor social contact.

Enforcement officers will continue to patrol Cleethorpes resort to issue fixed penalty notices for anyone caught littering or walking dogs on the main beach.

The controversial Norton Disney site where developers want to build an animal rendering plant is going to be dug up by archaeologists this week to search for ancient artefacts.

On April 8, Norton Disney’s History and Archaeology Group will start a new excavation at the site off Folly Lane using geo-physical detection equipment and will dig trenches to uncover the mystery of a large enclosure feature discovered last September on a geophysics survey.

The archaeology group made a successful application to Historic England in August 2020 to extend the boundaries protecting the villa after it was discovered during the previous planning application the villa was much bigger than previously thought.

The six hectare site was discovered in 1933 and was excavated in 1934 and 1935. Over the years, artefacts and remains have been found dating back as far as the Bronze Age.

In 1989, a bronze figurine of a mounted Roman warrior was uncovered called Mars Thingus. This figurine is now exhibited in the British Museum.

In February this year, Lincoln Proteins Ltd resubmitted a planning application for an animal rendering plant at Villa Farm on Folly Lane in Norton Disney.

Lincolnshire County Council’s planning committee unanimously refused initial plans in February 2020 following concerns over heritage and location.

There were fears the facility would “overshadow” the Lancaster Bomber gateway sculpture being built off the A46.

When the plans were originally submitted, there were objections from both local residents and North Kesteven District Council over odour and location. The county council received 1,105 letters of objection.

Villa Farm proposed development.

In February this year, plans were unanimously approved to demolish an existing animal by-products processing plant and build a new processing plant at the farm on Jerusalem Road in Skellingthorpe, which Lincoln Proteins Ltd rent from the Leo Group.

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.”

The new dig will start at 10am on Thursday April 8 at Folly Lane, Norton Disney LN6 9JP and will last two days.

+ More stories