A development of broiler units capable of housing 300,000 birds has been thrown out by Shropshire planners, as a public inquiry is announced into the rejection of another.

The first development plans, which would have consisted of six sheds, as well as a biomass boiler, feed bins and a control room, had been submitted by Harrison Farms of Bletchley, near Market Drayton. But the proposals were strongly opposed by local residents, with more than 100 objections received.

One councillor said that, despite voting for poultry units to support the local agri-economy in the past, this was a “totally inappropriate development in a totally inappropriate setting”.

A spokeswoman for the Bletchley Residents’ Association was more forthright in her condemnation. “This is not an extension to farming. This is a major industrial development on the edge of a village and next to a historic hamlet.”

Meanwhile, J G Owen and Co had a planning application for four sheds, housing up to 180,000 broilers, near Acton Piggot rejected in May 2012. But, following an appeal, a five-day public inquiry has now been announced.

Gary Pearce, chairman of Villages Action Group, told the Shropshire Star that it would work with the council to reaffirm the original reasons for refusing the application. “There is a huge amount of concern generally in the area and I’m yet to meet one person who is openly in support of this application.”

The public inquiry will run from 8-15 May and the ultimate decision will be taken by a government planning inspector.

For advice on planning issues, check out the next issue of Poultry World