Council opposed to mega pig farm in South Derbyshire
NewsThursday 27 June 2013
The local council in Derbyshire has upheld its previous objections to controversial plans to build a US-style mega pig farm in the southern end of the county.
The plans for the farm were controversial in the first place and have now suffered a major setback after the council declared its position.
At a meeting of its planning committee, the members of the South Derbyshire district council refused to back down on their opposition to the new farm in Foston.
The final decision is set to be made by Derbyshire County Council this summer and the local council’s opposition is sure to influence the overall outcome.
Midland Pig Producers (MPP) applied for permission to build the farm three years ago. It was planned to house up to 25,000 animals on a 30 acre greenfield site, situated west of the historic village of Foston.
If it is approved, the project will house 2,500 sows and offspring in a state-of-the-art unit. And, it will also produce 1,000 pigs a week for sale.
These plans have attracted a huge amount of opposition, including over 20,000 objections from all over the world. These objections have been received in letter form, via e-mail, e-petitions and the plans have also received criticism from celebrity opponents.
As well as there being plenty of human health concerns raised by government and health officials, there has also been objection from farming campaign groups such as the Soil Association and Friends of the Earth. These groups have warned that this new farm could pave the way for bigger factory farming projects in the pig, poultry and dairy sector.
The main concern of the local councillors was that the huge size of the project wasn’t in keeping with the surrounding area. They also raised concerns over the fact that the project could negatively affect a listed building (Foston Hall) and they also feared that local residents health could be in danger due to the significantly increased traffic.
MPP is one of the largest pig production companies in the UK and it produces over 100,000 pigs every year from 30 farms in eight countries. It promises that if the plans for the farm do go ahead, it will create at least 20 jobs throughout the local area.
A spokesperson for MPP told the Guardian: "We are aware that South Derbyshire district council rejected our amended plans for a pig farm at Foston at a meeting last night but we not surprised at the outcome. However, the decision whether to grant the planning application is that of Derbyshire county council and SDDC's recommendations are only part of the process.
“We are aware that a handful of local people are opposing the plans, but the vast majority of those objecting are not local residents. As we have pointed out previously, we have never expected to have the support of those activists who do not eat meat. We are currently ensuring that Derbyshire county council has all the information it needs in order to make its decision."
Picture: Watt Publishing