Almost 2,000 objections to plans for chicken farm near Rushden

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

Almost 2,000 objections have now been made against revised plans for a chicken farm near Rushden.

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, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

So there was huge delight for campaigners when the application was withdrawn in February, but Bedfordia Farms has since submitted revised plans for construction and operation of a broiler rearing unit with six linked poultry buildings on land north east of Westwood AD Plant in Bedford Road, Rushden.

So far, the new plans have attracted nearly 2,000 comments.

East Northants Council will consider the application and of the comments published on its website so far, none are in support.

Roger Barnes from the Cluck Off group said: “There are close to 2,000 objections now and the council is still accepting objections if people want to comment on the plans.

“Everybody is doing what they can to stop this.”

The Cluck Off group has the support of both the Wellingborough and Rushden MP Peter Bone and also Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby and East Northants.

Mr Pursglove has reiterated his support for those opposing the application, including writing to the chief executive of East Northants Council David Oliver.

He has also written to Michael Gove MP, who is the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and said: “I have been further contacted by a significant number of my constituents in respect of the above revised application.

“As such, I am writing to set out their concerns relating to the revisions to this proposal and again associate myself with the strong level of local objection that has been expressed; albeit the proposed development is just over the border in the neighbouring constituency.

“The revisions to this application have not addressed the fundamental concerns relating to road infrastructure, traffic, and the potential negative impact on the wider environment due to the quantity of waste product from the chicken rearing.

“Furthermore, in light of your very commendable comments against “US-style farming in this country” I would also be keen to know what your thoughts are on this specific application.”

Documents submitted as part of the new application by Bedfordia Farms state: “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.”

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