Permission has been granted for a major new poultry breeding unit in Cumbria.

Hunley Bank has been told by Carlisle City Council that it can open its new plant at Smithfield, near Longtown.

The 64,000sq ft unit will house 23,000 birds producing 600,000 chicks each year. It is scheduled to open at the beginning of next year.

Councillors, acting on the advice of planning officers, overrode a petition that was raised by local residents who were concerned about increased traffic, bad smells and a loss of open countryside. There was also a concern that the plant might attract vermin.

But planners, who investigated the concerns, said they had received assurances from the company that there would be no deliveries at the plant over night.

Planners said they had also looked at other poultry units run by the company and no problems had been reported.

Giving the decision, senior conservative councillor Ray Bloxham said the unit would bring considerable economic benefit to th area.

He added: “I can’t find any planning reason to refuse this.”

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