Fresh fight against planned Sandy Lane poultry farm on outskirts of Melton

Debbie Collins (front) and protesting residents with their banner EMN-150607-162849001
Debbie Collins (front) and protesting residents with their banner EMN-150607-162849001
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Protestors have vowed to renew their fight against a proposed poultry farm on the outskirts of Melton after an appeal was lodged against the borough council’s decision to refuse it.

Agrinvest want to house about 270,000 broiler chickens in seven sheds on land east of Sandy Lane, between the town and Burton Lazars, and also plan to build a home for a farm worker and carry out landscaping, drainage and road improvements.

Melton Council’s planning committee ignored the advice of their planning officers when they refused the application in December because the development was seen as too big and the smell would spoil the quality of life for neighbouring residents.

A group of objectors had put up a roadside banner complaining the poultry farm would be smelly, it would pollute water courses and increase HGV traffic in the area.

Cynthia Robotham, who lives just 200 yards from the proposed site, said: “I’m really surprised they have put in an appeal on this and we will be objecting strongly again.

“The problem with appeals is that people lose momentum after the initial plans have been dealt with but we will be whipping it up again and fighting as hard as we need to.”

There are also believed to be alternative plans in the pipeline to build up to 30 new homes on the site instead of a poultry farm.

Local people have already been consulted about the possible housing scheme by a developer and the objectors say they would be in favour of that.

Ms Rowbotham added: “We think the plan for the houses would be a far better solution for everyone concerned.

“If they put in the proposals for the housing we would support it.”

Burton and Dalby Parish Council strongly opposed the poultry farm scheme when it was proposed last year and when it was initially mooted in an application three years ago.

Clerk Stephen Johnson said: “The applicant has reduced the size of the development from nine poultry sheds to seven but it should be further out into the countryside.

“It is upwind from Burton Lazars and a lot of people were unhappy about it before.”

Melton Council said it was awaiting a date for the appeal to be heard.

Jim Worley, the authority’s head of regulatory services, said: “The applicant has asked for a public meeting in October, which would be a structured discussion between all the interested parties, rather than an appeal hearing.”