Villagers ready for chicken farm fight
RESIDENTS are gearing up for a fight against plans to create a massive chicken farm near Tewkesbury.
Herefordshire-based Kinsey Hern wants to set up a facility that would rear 1.4 million chickens per year.
Four large poultry units, that would house the birds, would go on fields at the former Starveall Farm site at Pamington, which his family bought in 2009 in order to set up the operation.
Mr Hern, on behalf of his family's firm, Kington-based FC Jones and Co, presented his plans to Monday night's meeting of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council.
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Dozens of villagers attended, amid fears the development could cause problems. They are concerned about the farm's lorries using Pamington's narrow country lanes and the smell coming from the site.
Mike Hill, of Pamington Court Farm, was alarmed to discover that lorries will use the roads 430 times per year.
He said: "The road down from the A46 to Pamington has got a crack all the way down the middle.
"Also, cars will have to make way for the lorries and go on to the grass verges to let them pass. That will cut them up to blazes."
He added that the lorry movements could spoil the enjoyment of the lanes for ramblers and, though Mr Hern said lorries would not go through Pamington village, he felt some might if drivers got lost.
Yvonne Walker lives in Pamington and used to live close to a chicken farm at Churcham, near Gloucester.
She said her biggest concern was over the 850-year-old Starveall Lane being affected by the new business' lorries.
She said villagers liked to walk along the quiet country lane, enjoying its huge amount of flora and fauna.
And she feared the chicken farm would smell. She said: "At Churcham, if the wind was in the wrong direction, it was not pleasant at all."
Mr Hern hopes to submit a planning application for the development before the end of the year.
He insisted residents need not worry about his plans, saying he had spent a lot of time and money on carrying out an environmental impact assessment.
He added: "We've taken a lot of time to make sure that we haven't missed anything out.
"We wouldn't put a planning application in if we thought the smell or the traffic would be a problem."
In his presentation to the council, Mr Hern addressed the often controversial issue of chickens' living conditions when he said he was aware of "strong consumer demand for high welfare but cost effective poultry products".