Controversial chicken farm plans for Rushden resubmitted

Members of the Cluck Off campaign group with MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove earlier this year
Members of the Cluck Off campaign group with MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove earlier this year

Plans for a chicken farm near Rushden which attracted huge levels of opposition have been revised and resubmitted.

Bedfordia Farms Ltd wanted to build 10 poultry buildings and associated infrastructure on land north east of Westwood Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Bedford Road, Rushden.

The plans attracted huge levels of opposition, including from the Cluck Off campaign group, MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

There was delight for campaigners when the application was withdrawn in February, but just four months later, Bedfordia Farms has submitted revised plans for construction and operation of a broiler rearing unit with six linked poultry buildings and ancillary structures on land north east of Westwood AD Plant in Bedford Road, Rushden.

Documents submitted as part of the new application state: “A previous application for the development of a poultry farm for the rearing of broiler chickens at a larger scale in the same location was submitted by the applicant to East Northants Council on 27 June 2017.

“The planning officer’s recommendation was that the council should refuse the application in view of its adverse effects on the landscape.

“The applicant withdrew this application prior to the application being reported to the council’s planning committee.

“The applicant has since redesigned and reconfigured its proposals, reducing the scale of the proposed poultry farm significantly to address the potential adverse effects on the landscape.”

Figures for the number of chickens which would pass through the broiler unit each year have been revealed as part of the new application.

An email from the agent to the council states: “The proposed broiler unit would operate on a 49 day cycle so that, over the course of a calendar year, an average 7.45 flocks would pass through the broiler unit.

“The broiler unit is designed to raise 314,000 birds every 49 day cycle, equating to 2,339,000 birds per year.

“Chicks would be introduced to the poultry houses when a day old and would be reared for approximately 38 days under controlled and monitored conditions.”

Roger Barnes from the Cluck Off group said they are preparing to fight the plans once again.

He said: “We knew it could come back.

“But we are not going to give up, this is just round two.

“We are definitely starting Cluck Off again with a vengeance.”
The campaigners are urging everyone who objected to the original plans to have their say again by writing to or emailing the planning department at East Northants Council.

To read more about the original plans, click here

For more details on the revised plans, search for 18/01284/FUL on the planning page of the council’s website.