Battle looms over ‘super dairy’

Opposition to a planned 8100-cow Licolnshire “super dairy” shows little sign of diminishing.

Some 164 people met representatives from Nocton Dairies, the consortium that wants to set up the farm south of Lincoln.

Three farmers involved in the project had hoped to convince local residents of its merits by exhibiting their plans last weekend.

The exhibition was intended to show villagers what the site would look like and win round the project’s critics.

But an informal exit poll of the exhibition’s visitors found 153 people against the plans and only eight in favour.

A further three people were undecided, reported the Lincolnshire Echo.

The three farmers involved in the £40m project withdrew their original planning application earlier this year.

Having addressed a number of environmental issues, they hope to resubmit the application to North Kesteven District Council.

The farmers involved are milk producers Peter Willes from Devon, David Barnes from Lancashire and Lincolnshire grower Robert Howard.

The super dairy would be built on land between Dunston and Nocton, about six miles south of Lincoln.

If approved, the farm would be home to more than 8100 cows, producing up to 250,000 litres of milk daily and employing 85 staff.

It would have access to 8500ha (21,000 acres) of nearby farmland for forage production and manure spreading.

The farmers claim the plan will boost the rural economy in an area where decent jobs can be hard to come by.

They insist the welfare of the animals will top the agenda at what would be Europe’s biggest dairy farm.

But opponents disagree, citing concerns over welfare, the environment and the impact on local village life.

Campaigners at Compassion in World Farming said the proposals posed a giant threat to animal welfare.

“We shall all continue to argue that the project is bad for Lincolnshire, bad for UK farmers, and bad for farm animals,” said CIWF director Joyce D’Silva.

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