Rushden chicken farm plans recommended for refusal

Members of the Cluck Off campaign group with MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove and East Northants councillor Helen Harrison
Members of the Cluck Off campaign group with MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove and East Northants councillor Helen Harrison

Plans for a poultry farm which could house up to 540,000 chickens have been recommended for refusal.

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

But the application has attracted huge opposition, including from MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove, East Rushden Residents Association, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Animal Aid, The Swan pub in Newton Bromswold, Taylor Wimpey and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

Several councils have raised their objections, including Rushden Town Council, Higham Ferrers Town Council, Newton Bromswold Parish Council and Chelveston Parish Council.

Neighbours and members of the public have also had their say as part of the consultation, with 1,295 comments made and just two of these comments being in support of the plans.

Members of East Northants Council’s planning management committee will discuss the application, which officers have recommended for refusal, at a meeting next week.

It has been recommended for refusal for the following reason(s): “By virtue of its location, scale, layout and design, the proposal would give rise to significant adverse landscape and visual effects which would be readily appreciated from public rights of way in the locality.

“The identified harm could not be satisfactorily mitigated and the proposal is therefore contrary to North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy Policy 3, criteria (a) and (e) and Policy 25.

“Furthermore, the proposal would not satisfy the ambition of para 17 of the framework to recognise ‘...the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.’

“The local planning authority recognises the public benefits of the proposal; however these do not outweigh the identified harm.”

The meeting starts at 7pm on Wednesday, February 28, in the council chamber at East Northamptonshire House in Cedar Drive, Thrapston.

To read more about the Cluck Off campaign which has been fighting the plans since they were first submitted, click here