Go-ahead given for poultry ‘super shed’

A Staffordshire poultry unit has been given permission for a major expansion despite concerns from an MP and objections from local residents.

Poplars Farm in Wheaton Aston can now go ahead and demolish current poultry sheds and erect what has been called a “super shed”. This will mean 20,000 more birds can be housed, taking total capacity to more than 1 million birds

Local residents had complained that smells and flies from the farms would seriously affect their quality of life.

“We have had to put up with obnoxious smells and noise for more than a decade,” one resident told the planning committee. “People should not have to endure this. This site cannot be allowed any further increase in size.”

Concern had also been expressed by local MP Jeremy Lefroy about the expansion, while the Environment Agency said it was concerned about surface water problems in the area.

But the agent for site owner Mohammed Malik described the development as an “absolute necessity”. “It is vital for the success of the business that costs be minimised through the benefits of economy of scale.”

The planners had also pointed out that the building’s modern design would boost efficiency and reduce the problems of bad smells and flies.

Granting permission for the expansion, councillor Brian Cox of South Staffordshire Council said: “We have to weigh the interests of one million birds a year against the people who live nearby.”

The approval was given with certain conditions. One of these is that the producer will have to write to all residents within a 200-yard radius of the farm to give notice when the sheds are to be emptied and cleaned.

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