Scoulton crematorium, Snetterton factory and Swaffham poultry market given go-ahead by councillors

Natures Menu in Watton. From left, MD Craig Taylor and business development director Peter Roy. Pict

Natures Menu in Watton. From left, MD Craig Taylor and business development director Peter Roy. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A poultry auction, £7m pet food factory and controversial crematorium are among the schemes that have been given the go-ahead by Breckland councillors.

Yesterday, Breckland Council's planning committee granted permission for the popular Swaffham Poultry Market to relocate to a new building on the Swaffham Raceway site.

The market, run by Fabian Eagle, attracted dozens of livestock buyers to its weekly events at Lynn Road before a rise in demand saw it close last year.

The approval came despite planning officers' concerns that it would increase the risk of accidents on the busy Downham Road.

District councillor for the town Paul Darby said: 'The market is part of the tradition of Swaffham. We have recently celebrated 800 years of the market in Swaffham and if we lose the poultry auction it will be detrimental to the whole of the market.'

Meanwhile, Watton-based pet food manufacturer Natures Menu will consolidate most of its operations to a factory, warehouse and office space on land north west of the A11 in Snetterton.

The company will keep its Watton site open, but will relocate its other offices to the seven-acre site on farmland just outside the Snetterton Heath Employment Area.

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The approval came despite the land being designated as open countryside and concerns roads in Snetterton and Shropham would become rat runs for lorries.

Helen Foley, chairman of Snetterton Parish Council, said: 'We welcome development of established businesses, however in the right place and not to the detriment to the future of agricultural land.'

In Scoulton, highly-contested plans for a crematorium, remembrance garden and car park off Norwich Road were also passed.

The bid was approved in August last year, before a judicial review challenge over the interpretation of a policy saw them rescind the permission.

Speaking on behalf of objectors in Hingham and Scoulton, Sarah Simpson said she was 'gravely concerned' at the lack of information in the plans over the impact on the B1108.

'This application will remove the first overtaking length on the B1108 for 14 frustrating miles,' she said. 'I would expect this stretch of road to become intrinsically less safe.'

Thornalley Funeral Services, who submitted the plans, said there was a 'critical need' for a crematorium in Breckland, with mourners living in the district currently forced to travel to Norwich or King's Lynn.

What do you think of the plans? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk