MORE than 800 objections have been lodged to a huge proposed farm for 500,000 chickens near the A14 and A1 at Little Stukeley, near Huntingdon. The objections come not just from the Stukeleys but from residents of Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon, and Brampton,
MORE than 800 objections have been lodged to a huge proposed farm for 500,000 chickens near the A14 and A1 at Little Stukeley, near Huntingdon.
The objections come not just from the Stukeleys but from residents of Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon, and Brampton, who fear they will be affected by being downwind of the smell and noise from the birds.
Last week the lobby group, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), put its weight behind the protesters, saying the project, for 12 sheds at Lodge Farm, close to Huntingdon Racecourse, would blight the landscape.
"The proposed development is massive. We're talking about something the size of half a dozen football pitches," said Gareth Ridewood, chairman of CPRE in Huntingdonshire. "Sprawling industrial buildings sited on a hill in rolling countryside would blight the local landscape, as well as posing as a possible pollution hazard to Huntingdon, the Stukeleys and Brampton."
The parish council has also objected to the plan, which will be considered by Huntingdonshire District Council's development control panel - probably in May or June - after consultants have reported back to the council on an evaluation of the environmental assessment submitted in support of the application.
Farmer's son Derek Pigg, who lives at Waterloo Farm Cottage, barely 400 metres from the proposed six-acre site, has taken over as chairman of the residents' Campaign Against Lodge Fowl Factory.
"These intensive broiler sheds will each be 150m long by 40m wide, situated in what is probably the only prominent part of the bowl. It would impact on the rural landscape. It would be as imposing as the Somerfield distribution building to the north of Spittals.
"Different people are opposed to it for different reasons," he added. "Horse riders are opposed because of the effect on bridleways, walkers because of the footpaths. A lot of people are concerned at the increased traffic levels in Low Road."
There are also concerns about the impact of the proposed facility on water supplies and on the storage and transport of high-ammonia chicken litter.
Although Mr Pigg is very reluctant to raise the prospect of avian flu, he points out that a lot of migrating birds use the flooded pits near the sight.