Planning row over Crown Chicken mill at Kenninghall

Calls have been made for the owners of an animal feed mill in south Norfolk to face enforcement action after it was claimed that work had been carried out without planning permission.

Crown Chicken has made an application for a certificate of lawful use at its mill in Kenninghall after villagers began to investigate its planning conditions following alterations and increased activity at Green Farm in Edge Green.

Residents and parish councillors have lodged their concerns over the site as a result of an increase in the number of HGV movements on a narrow country road serving the farm, which also has a poultry hatchery on site.

Jim Waters, who lives on Heath Road, said there had been a small farming operation at the site since the 1960s. However, he said the use was more of an 'industrial undertaking' these days and there were safety concerns.

'Everybody always presumed that they had planning permission, but when we checked to find out their operating hours and how many lorry movements they were allowed, we found that they never had planning permission. It is unbelievable and we just want them to go through the proper planning procedures,' he said.

Kenninghall Parish Council have also called on enforcement action if retrospective permission is not granted for structural works at Green Farm over the last four years and called for an environmental impact assessment to be carried out.

Parish clerk Colin Wright said the parish council had concerns about increased noise, light pollution and highway safety. The South West Norfolk Labour party have also called on Breckland Council to reject the company's application.

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Crown Chicken, which employs 68 people at its Kenninghall site, has lodged an application for a certificate of lawful use to Breckland Council, but claim that operations have not changed since 1968.

In a letter to the district council, the poultry firm said: 'The investment by the current management has come in the form of upgrading machinery, storage bins and cladding. All these improvements have been sanctioned since 1993 to enhance the production facilities of the site, but has not implied the plant has been extended its original building.'

Graham Worsfold, highways development management officer for Norfolk County Council, added that the highway authority also had 'strong concerns' about visibility at the junction of Heath Road with Lopham Road.

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