Poultry farm proposed for former Methwold airfield site

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As many as 300,000 birds could be accommodated if plans for a new poultry farm on the site of the former Methwold Airfield are given the go-ahead.

Six separate sheds are proposed in the development of the Brandon Road site, which has been backed by officials ahead of a borough planning meeting next week.

The application had been submitted by JW Spencer Farms Ltd, who have farmed in the area since the 1930s.

A planning report publuished this week said the developer was looking to diversify its operations into the poultry sector.

The firm said: “This enterprise will provide new local employment, ensure production of ethically produced poultry to the highest environmental standards, in a safe manner for the birds and the surrounding environment alike.”

The scheme has been recommended for approval by planning officers, ahead of a meeting of the West Norfolk Council planning committee in Lynn on Monday.

The application has been backed by the Methwold parish council, subject to assurances over the levels of traffic associated with it.

But the Feltwell council said it was opposed to the scheme, citing concerns over traffic and the smells it claims the farm would generate.

However, the developers maintained the modern design of poultry units would reduce the project’s impact on the environment.

The report said the farm would also need an Environment Agency permit in order to operate.

One letter of objection also voiced concerns that the development would prevent a public right of way, which was closed when the airfield was built shortly before the Second World War, being reopened.

Norfolk County Council rights of way officers said the developer should take responsibility for maintaining the path during any construction work that takes place.

They also suggested the project could enable the path within the site to be re-connected to a nearby walking route.

But planners said they did not think it was “reasonable or necessary” to require the applicant to improve the path.