A major proposed expansion to a pig unit in the Brecks has been recommended for approval by district planners.

Wayland Farms has applied to Breckland Council for permission to upgrade its existing piggery at Cherry Tree Farm in Stow Bedon, near Watton.

The plans involve the demolition of 10 dated piggery buildings and the construction of seven new sheds to accommodate 6,990 pigs, along with ventilation equipment and a new roof for the existing manure store.

A report to councillors says, if approved, the new buildings would be 15m high and 61m long, with a total floor area of 6,386sqm - four times the footprint of the buildings being demolished.

The site is currently producing piglets with a capacity of 600 sows. The development would be for the finishing of pigs, with no breeding or piglets or slaughter on site.

Stow Bedon and Breckles Parish Council has objected to the plans, due to the "massive increase" in the size of the operation, with concerns including the proximity to the Upper Thet watercourse, the potential for odour problems for homes situated downwind, and the increase in traffic on the access road.

But no objections have been raised by county highways officers or environmental agencies

Planning officers said the application was in line with the council's rural development policies, and have recommended its approval when councillors meet to decide it on May 28.

The officer's report says: "The principle of development is considered to be acceptable. Due to it's remote location away from the highway and limited neighbours, its existence is not expected to cause harm to the landscape or neighbours.

"The rigorous EA Environmental Permit process has dealt with the technical matters including impact on biodiversity area, water systems, contamination and air emissions. As such, the statutory consultees have not raised an objection.

"The development has found to be policy compliant and no material considerations have been raised which indicate that the application should be refused. "On the foregoing basis, it is recommended the application is approved subject to conditions and a legal agreement."