A row has erupted in a Northumberland village over plans to place 24,000 free-range hens close to one of Britain’s most famous battlefields.

A farmer near Berwick has applied to Northumberland County Council for permission to build a unit at a site a quarter of a mile from Flodden Field, where England and Scotland fought in 1513.

The plan has angered villagers who reckon the unit would be “insensitive and inconsiderate” so close to a site where an estimated 15,000 men – including Scottish King James IV and the Archbishop of St Andrews – were killed in battle.

Twenty-three residents have written letters of opposition to the council, among them the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, who has a home in the village.

The council is recommending approval of the plan.