Setback for Foston 2,500-pig ‘mega-farm’

Plans to establish Britain’s biggest pig farm fail to address pollution risks, the Environment Agency has warned.

Midland Pig Producers hopes to develop a 2,500-sow pig unit and biogas plant on land at Foston, Derbyshire. But the agency said an environmental statement submitted in support of the proposed development was unsatisfactory. Its verdict is contained in a letter to Derbyshire County Council.

“The applicant has not supplied adequate information to demonstrate that the risks posed to groundwater can be satisfactorily managed,” the agency said.

“We recommend that planning permission should be refused on this basis.”

The agency said its policy was to oppose development proposals that may pollute groundwater, especially where pollution risk was high. Applicants should provide adequate information to demonstrate that the risks posed by development to groundwater could be managed, it added.

“In this case, we consider that the proposed development may pose an unacceptable risk of causing a detrimental impact to groundwater quality.” This was because of the underground storage of potentially hazardous pollutants potentially below the water table.

A spokeswoman for Midland Pig Producers said: “It appears we are being asked for information that was not requested in the original scoping agreement. We will now provide this information as soon as possible.”

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