Developers ponder new poultry farm plan for Sedgeford site

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Developers who scrapped plans for a large poultry farm following fierce local opposition have revealed they are now considering submitting new proposals for the site.

A public consultation event is due to be held at the Sedgeford village hall this weekend for residents to have their say on the new plans from Newcome-Baker Farms.

The company says the new plans are around half the size of the ones they withdrew in the spring.

However, bosses have said they also want to discuss the issue with West Norfolk Council planning officials before making a final decision about whether to submit a formal application.

The firm originally submitted plans to build eight poultry units, housing around 300,000 birds in all, on the former Whin Close site, Docking Road, Sedgeford, to the borough council in January.

But the proposal was withdrawn in April following sustained opposition from nearby residents.

Concerns were raised at the time about the release of odours from the site and the potential impact of the development on the local tourism industry.

Some residents also began a fundraising campaign to finance continuing opposition to the scheme.

But William Barber, managing director of Newcome-Baker Farms, said yesterday: “We were quite shocked by the reaction to the earlier proposal.

“Several hundred poultry barns already operate in Norfolk and Suffolk and over 40 within the immediate vicinity.

“There is little evidence that they pose any problems for residents or the tourism industry.”

Mr Barber added: “These new proposals are aimed at alleviating some of these concerns and the consultation process will also inform people as to how modern poultry farms operate.”

The new proposal would allow for four poultry barns to be built on the site, which the company says would be screened by woodland.

The company says the latest scheme has scaled back the original project by almost 50 per cent.

And managers have also set up a website about the scheme, www.whinclosepoultry

On it, the company said: “We are a family business who have farmed for three generations in Sedgeford and live and work within our local community.

“We would never operate our business to the detriment of others and genuinely believe that this proposal will do no harm and bring benefits to the local economy.”

The consultation event will be held at Sedgeford village hall this Saturday, November 7, between 10am and 1pm.

The company says it has also requested a meeting with West Norfolk Council planning officers about the proposal.

But managers say they will only make a final decision on whether to proceed with the application in the next few weeks, following discussions with their development partners.