Decision day looms for Norton Lindsey poultry sheds plan

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Plans for two new large poultry houses near Norton Lindsey are recommended for approval by Warwick District Council this week, despite a wave of opposition from residents and Norton Lindsey Parish Council.

The plan, submitted by Mr A. Audhali, is that latest in a series of unsuccessful applications all seeking to replace the existing disused chicken sheds on the site, on land at Ward Hill, North East of the village.

The latest proposal also includes an on-site workers dwelling.

If successful, the sheds, with a combined capacity for more than 20,000 birds, would be used to rear chicks for the egg production industry.

68 objections to the proposal have been submitted to Warwick District Council, with some raising concerns about odours, increased vermin, the impact on greenbelt land, noise, dust and the potential spread of airborne bacteria, and the effect this could have on residents.

Among the other complaints are that the proposal could negatively affect the local highway network, would harm biodiversity, that the scheme is of no benefit to residents and that the site is unsuitable for such a use.

Concerns over animal welfare were also raised.

Norton Lindsey Parish Council have echoed some of these concerns in their response to the application and questioned the need for a worker’s dwelling at the site, suggesting that regular visits would suffice.

A response from the parish council reads: “Norton Lindsey Parish Council has grave concerns with the environmental impact this proposal will have on the locality, particularly regarding odour (both during day-to-day operations and especially when the sheds are cleaned), dust in the atmosphere, increased vermin, noise from ventilation fans, etc. We are unconvinced by the methodology and findings of an odour report that suggests minimal impact on houses that are less than 50m away.”

Despite residents raising questions the scheme could have, the Environmental Health Department at Warwick District Council and the Highways Department at Warwickshire County Council, have both raised no objections to the proposal, subject to conditions.

The argument to include the worker’s dwelling at the site is that someone would need to be close by to rapidly respond to any issues and ensure that no harm came to the birds.

The assessment of the application by planning officers, agrees with the need for an on-site worker’s presence and dwelling, reasoning that this outweighs any potential harm to the green belt.

Officers also noted that the new low-profile sheds would replace the existing dilapidated buildings on the site, which are of a similar scale.

They concluded that the site would be low noise impact and that a management plan detailing the control of dust and odours would need to be implemented.

A decision on the application is expected to be made at the Warwick District Council Planning Committee meeting on 8th January.