Pig farm close to Doncaster village is 'acceptable for approval' despite mass opposition

Doncaster Council officers have said there is no reason why an indoor rearing farm with 1,000 pigs cannot be approved close to a borough village despite mass opposition.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 3:19 pm

Applicant Richard Lodge wants to erect a livestock building for a pig finishing unit along associated infrastructure at Toecroft Farm off Toecroft Lane in Sprotbrough.

But the plans have prompted mass opposition with over 470 objections submitted to the local authority from nearby residents, including from Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband, from charities and from animal welfare organisations.

One of the three petitions which have been sent in against the plans, set up by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was signed by 22,000 people while another on change.org had over 3,000 signatures.

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The site of the planned pig frm

Reasons given from residents in the Sprotbrough area as to why they were against the plans included odour, traffic issues and an increase in vermin and flies.

A number of people also raised concerns around the intense farming practice and its impact on the environment.

But council bosses said that they ‘do not have clear evidence’ to justify whether the proposed unit would significantly impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Sprotbrough Parish Council has also objected to the development, with its concerns mainly relating to the impact on amenity in relation to noise, odour and waste and detriment on the highway network.

The site of the planned pig farm

Council clerk Emma Garner, representing the view of the authority, said: “The proposed application will have a significant impact on the enjoyment of their home, the village of Sprotbrough and the surrounding area with persistent odour pollution from the development either by the effect of prevailing winds or the pooling of odour.

“The proposed development will also cause damage to the village economy.

She added: “The parish council believe they have considered and offered overwhelming evidence to support the objection to the development and the claim that the application site is wholly inappropriate in the proposed location, being located too close to residential property.”

If approved, the building will accommodate a total of 996 pigs from 40kg through to finished weight of 110kg. The site is fully enclosed with the pigs being indoor at all times.

The planned unit will provide pig accommodation on a fully slatted slurry based system, in which the slurry is emptied twice a year. The slurry will be primarily be used as a fertiliser for the existing fields.

The wider proposal includes the construction of two feed silos, a rain water harvesting tank; plant storage room and a concrete loading area.

Planning officer Jessica Duffield said: “The proposal is considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

“Officers have identified no adverse economic, environmental or social harm that would significantly or demonstrably outweigh the benefits identified when considered against the policies in the planning framework taken as a whole.

She added: “The proposal is compliant with the adopted development plan and adopted policies and there are no material considerations which indicate that the application should be refused.”

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