STOP THE FREE RANGE EGG FARCE
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Cornwall had its first planning application for an industrial mega farm, fondly called by the applicants a “Centre of Excellence”. The reality being far removed from the cultivated description is a proposal for 4 multi-tier units with a grand total of 112,000 laying hens. The application is designed to give a picture of healthy hens basking in the mild Cornish climate whilst trotting off to pop an egg and resume their ranging whilst enjoying the unpolluted Cornish environment. Nobody can give a figure about how many hens will range, sometimes its none, sometimes it could be 10/20%. The proposed site is at Nancegollan, in an area of open countryside with no existing farm buildings or infrastructure, the units will sit on the brow of a small hill with residential properties surrounding the 160 acre boundary and a mere 500 or so metres from the village.
The cost of production and the greed of profit has made this multi-tier unit very popular amongst the egg farmers, its high rise living for the free range hen. Planning constraints have been overcome by means of going up instead of out, less floor space. The reduced labour requirements along with the net gain in profit will see an increase in the amount of planning applications for these types of unit. Before we know what’s happened, our countryside will be peppered with large industrial manure factories polluting the environment and ruining the lives of many who have chosen to work, set up a family home and contribute to a decent country life.
The planning application (PA17/04129) was validated on the 12th may 2017 since this date the residents have employed the services of a planning consultant and a Landscape impact specialist, they have highlighted many faults with this application and given their advice to the Council to ensure a fare due process, this has fallen on deaf ears.
The issues raised are many
1, the red line development boundary does not include the hen ranging areas, considering the environmental impacts, dust, manure, flooding, noise and the engineering works required on the ranging area’s this is fundamentally a development zone and should be within the red line development. The other issue is the lack of neighbour consultation, we were not informed about this application, and the properties that bound this site are between 1 metre and 87 metres from the hen ranging areas.
2, the landscape visual assessment was supposed to incorporate a 5 km zone; the applicants did this at 3km.
3, the transport statement is lacking in the amount of vehicle movements and contradicts itself
4, the manure disposal plan will not work as one site can only legally take 345 tons per year, the proposed site will produce 90 ton per week. The other site is a green waste company near Hayle where the residents are suffering the smell from the St Erth sewage treatment plant; this additional smell will only increase their misery.
5, the site is situated at the start of the river Hayle, it suffers from severe run-off, pollution will enter this river system and cause a potential disaster.
6, the site will generate heavy traffic, the proposal is endorsed by highways for the articulated lorries to enter the B3302 via the blind white Horse cross roads, this is a dangerous access point and does not have the width to take such large vehicles.
7, there are 5 dwellings at the base of this site, all of which suffer from this site’s run-off, all have a private drinking water supply that will suffer contamination.
There many issues about this proposal, due to the inaccurate submission and the amount of alterations to the application, the council should insist on a new application and one that gives a true and honest idea of what the applicants are trying to achieve.
The strategic planning committee refused this application and we are now fighting the applicants appeal, inquiry set for 16th/17th/18th April at Nancegollan Village Hall.
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