Sedgeford poultry farm plan ‘inappropriate’, campaigners claim

Meeting of Sedgeford Parish Council ANL-150319-115331001
Meeting of Sedgeford Parish Council ANL-150319-115331001

Campaigners against plans for a new poultry farm near their village have this afternoon accused developers of showing “a lack of consideration” for residents.

Last week, officials from Newcome-Baker Farms announced the company had submitted a new planning application to develop the former Whin Close site on Docking Road, Sedgeford.

The new proposal, which would allow for four poultry barns, is half the size of the original scheme which was shelved in the spring amid fierce local opposition.

But members of the No To Poultry Factory action group say they are still concerned about the potential impact of the scheme on people’s health and the local tourism industry.

Group chairman Nick Skerritt said: “It is extremely disappointing that the controversial application has been lodged again just before Christmas - bringing distress to many Sedgeford residents during the season of goodwill.

“This is further proof of the complete lack of consideration that the applicant has for the local economy and the wellbeing of local residents.

“The building of a large-scale poultry factory on the outskirts of Sedgeford is totally inappropriate to the area.”

The company has insisted that the smaller plan was drawn up in response to concerns raised by local people.

Officials also maintain the scheme will make a positive contribution to the local economy.

In a planning statement, managing director William Barber said the firm had been “quite shocked” by the strength of feeling against the original proposals.

He added: “Several hundred poultry barns already operate in Norfolk and Suffolk, and over 40 within the immediate vicinity, and there is little evidence that they pose any problems for residents or the tourism industry.”

But Mr Skerritt said most of the sites cited by the firm were in the south of Norfolk and none close to the proposed site.

He believes the proposal would put people’s health, and jobs related to the area’s tourism industry at risk.

He said: “There will be considerable opposition to this application from all concerned with the future wellbeing of North-West Norfolk.

“Local residents and businesses are looking closely at this application to West Norfolk Council and considering, ‘How does this project benefit the local area and economy?’

“The benefits will be zero, yet the risks are huge. This application must be met with a resounding no.”

The issue is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Sedgeford parish council, though the planning application itself is unlikely to be discussed until January.