Sedgeford poultry farm protesters are ‘spreading fear’, developers claim

Map showing the site of the proposed new Whin Close poultry farm near Sedgeford
Map showing the site of the proposed new Whin Close poultry farm near Sedgeford
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Developers behind controversial plans for a poultry farm on the edge of a West Norfolk village have accused their critics of spreading “unnecessary fear” about the proposals.

Parish councillors in Sedgeford are due to discuss the application for four poultry units on the former Whin Close site, off Docking Road, at a meeting next week.

Residents who are opposed have demanded more time to lodge their objections, claiming the initial 21-day period which ends on January 8 was insufficient.

But West Norfolk Council officials have said they will continue to consider comments on the scheme until a decision, which is expected in March, is reached by its planning committee.

And, in a statement issued this afternoon, Newcome-Baker Farms, the company that hopes to build the units, has hit back at its opponents.

A spokesman said: “Before Christmas we emailed almost 100 residents and prominently displayed the correct information about the consultation running until March 2016 on our website.

“This is the latest attempt by some objectors to create unnecessary fear rather than establish the actual facts.

“Experience shows that modern poultry farms do not cause problems for their neighbours and hopefully this attempt to get people to object before they are furnished with the facts has failed.”

The new proposal, which would accommodate around 150,000 birds at any one time, is around half the size of an initial scheme for eight barns which was shelved last spring amid fierce opposition.

The company says the latest scheme has addressed the concerns raised by objectors.

But critics say the plan is still too big for the area.

A Sedgeford parish council planning meeting, where the application is due to be discussed, will take place at the village hall on Monday, January 4, at 7pm.