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Permit seeks to double number of birds at Sedgeford poultry farm

Developers behind controversial plans for a poultry farm operation near Sedgeford have lodged an application to more than double the number of birds reared there.

An application to vary the operational permit of the Whin Close facility on Docking Road, seeking to expand it to 360,000 birds, has been lodged with the Environment Agency.

And a public consultation launched by the agency on the move is due to finish next week.

GV of the proposed Poultry Farm Site at Sedgeford, the location is across the fields at the centre of our picture. (1941608)
GV of the proposed Poultry Farm Site at Sedgeford, the location is across the fields at the centre of our picture. (1941608)

Proposals to build four poultry sheds, capable of accommodating up to 180,000 birds, were approved by West Norfolk Council in August 2016, despite widespread local opposition.

Opponents claimed the scheme would damage the area’s tourism industry and set a precedent for further, similar developments in the future.

An environmental permit, allowing the farm to operate, was subsequently granted by the Environment Agency last July and later varied to enable the installation of additional facilities, including a biomass boiler, substation and welfare block once they were approved by the council.

But the latest application, which the agency called for public comments on this week, appears to seek a major expansion of the farm.

Documents submitted to, and published by the agency, said the operator, Newcome-Baker Farms, “wishes to increase bird places to 360,000 broiler places with the addition of four additional poultry houses. No additional land is required.”

Comments on the new application can be submitted online via https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/psc/pe36-5ll-newcome-baker-farms-limited-1 until next Friday, May 18.

Residents can also have their say by emailing psc@environment-agency.gov.uk or writing to The Land Team, Permitting and Support Centre, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue, Parkway Business Park, Sheffield, S9 4WF.

The agency says it can consider issues relating to traffic noise and odour from the site, as well as potential impact on sensitive areas and environmental regulations.

However, it says it cannot take into account issues that would be considered by a planning process, whether the operation should be allowed in principle or traffic going to and from the application site. Council officials say a formal planning application has not yet been submitted.

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