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Feathers fly as villagers’ revolt sees chicken farm plans given the bird

March 13, 2013
A NO-SE FOR A STORY: Protesters outside Lichfield District Council’s headquarters

A NO-SE FOR A STORY: Protesters outside Lichfield District Council’s headquarters

PEOPLE power has clipped the wings of a controversial plan to build a massive farm near Tamworth for more than one-and-a-half million chickens.

Placard-waving protesters, who took their fight to the civic chambers of Lichfield District Council, were this week celebrating a famous victory.

Villagers from Haunton and Clifton Campville cheered the decision by city planners on Monday to throw out proposals for a super coop at Cleat Hill Farm in Syerscote Lane, Haunton.

Residents feared that the farm – the size of two football pitches –  would create unbearable smells, increase noise and bring 1,000 heavy goods vehicles on to “unsuitable” country roads.

The application – originally recommended for approval by the authority’s officers – was refused by planning committee members on the grounds it would cause harm to the amenity of local residents, pose a public health risk and have a detrimental effect on rural settlements.

Campaign organiser Sue Wadham joined in the winning celebrations: “Both villages have been united by this. When you get a planning application it can divide people, but the majority of people are vehemently against it.”

Protesters went from house to house collecting signatures against the proposals for “intensive chicken farming”, warning that the objections were “largely about the traffic that will come through the villages.”

She said villagers were originally unaware of the size of the development and that the application was based on flawed environmental data. Nearly 1,000 letters of objection were received by the council from local residents.

The proposal included the construction of six poultry rearing units, three control rooms, nine feed bins, an office, canteen, WC, underground dirty water tanks, generator shed, pump room, water storage tanks, a new section of farm track and alterations to access to Main Road, Haunton.

I’m proud of the villagers in Haunton and Clifton Campville who have stood firm against a contentious application that would have housed more than one-and-a-half million chickens at the farm and seen 1,000 HGVs on the roads of our beautiful communities.

It’s undoubtedly a case of power to the people.

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