Application for poultry farm near Hunstanton withdrawn following intense public opposition

The view over the fields close to the site of the proposed poultry farm near Sedgeford - The village

The view over the fields close to the site of the proposed poultry farm near Sedgeford - The village sign. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

An application for a poultry farm is to be withdrawn as a result of intense public opposition for the proposal.

Newcombe Baker Farms is to withdraw its plans to built a facility housing up to 360,000 birds on land in Sedgeford, near Hunstanton, to 'allow for greater understanding of the project' for local residents.

A document being submitted to the planning authorities said: 'The rationale for this is to seek to satisfy the concerns of those that seem to have become so violently opposed to the poultry unit – often quoting and disseminating misinformation, inaccuracies and prejudices about modern poultry farming and indeed the application itself.'

In a statement, Nick Skerritt, chairman of the recently launched No to Poultry Factory Action Group welcomed the move and appreciated time for further engagement with local residents on the plans.

He added: 'However, whilst this withdrawal may be viewed as a positive development, and although welcomed at this stage, the local community and its representatives will remain vigilant in their stance to oppose future applications on the basis of the likely impact on the local economy, environment, businesses and residents.'

The application was seeking permission to built eight new poultry sheds at Wethered Manor, in Docking Road, where each shed could measure almost 20,000 sq feet.

An environmental impact report submitted alongside the application says that any odours released are within guidelines.

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It also found the new poultry buildings would have limited impact on the landscape as they would be well-screened; the ecological impact would be low; and the increased traffic would have very little effect on the environment.

The most recent document indicating the withdrawal also outlines background information behind the proposal.

It details the application process the developers had followed to date; describes the need for greater UK production capacity in the processing and retail industry; and comments on the scale of the proposed facility and use of the manure generated.

'At 360,000 birds it [the facility] is large, but by no means is it the largest with several units exceeding 500,000 birds,' it says.

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