Concern over plans for poultry farm with capacity for 540,000 birds in Rushden

The proposed site plan
The proposed site plan

Plans have been submitted for 10 poultry buildings which will each contain 54,000 birds.

Bedfordia Farms Ltd has applied for the erection of 10 poultry buildings and associated infrastructure on land north east of the Westwood AD Plant in Bedford Road, Rushden.

The applicants already operate a large scale farming business on the county border with Bedfordshire with 6,000 acres of arable cropping and an existing pig breeding enterprise.

These proposals are to ‘further diversify’ the business with a new poultry unit and if given the go-ahead, each building would have a capacity of 54,000 birds so the total capacity would be 540,000 birds.

Documents submitted as part of the plans state: “The use of the proposed poultry buildings is for the rearing of broilers from day-old chicks through to finished table weight.

“The broiler rearing cycle operates on an all in all out system, and each cycle takes 48 days.

“The broilers are reared for approximately 38 days following which the poultry buildings are cleaned out in preparation for the next batch of birds.”

The poultry manure would be removed from the buildings and transported away from the site for disposal as an agricultural fertilizer elsewhere on the estate.

The documents say the proposed development involves an investment in buildings and infrastructure of approximately £7 million by the applicants and once operational, it will require five full-time workers on the site.

However, a number of objections have been made about the plans.

One resident contacted the Northants Telegraph and said they are worried about the smell and risk of ammonia pollution, which can come from poultry farming and was covered as a national issue on last week’s edition of BBC One’s Countryfile.

Presenter Tom Heap was looking at how ammonia from the countryside mixing with diesel fumes from the roads can create poisonous particles that blight the lives of many people.

One resident commenting online on the plans, which will be considered by East Northants Council, said: “This application is not in keeping with the local residential area, it will attract vermin and potentially impact on health.”

Another resident said: “This would be an inappropriate development is this area, and would bring problems of odour and pollution in such a nice country area.”

Other concerns raised include an increase in lorries on the A6 and an increase in noise and air pollution for people living nearby.

Anyone wishing to comment on the plans can do so online by clicking here and searching for 17/01328/FUL.