Poultry producer seeks planning apology

Broiler producer Andrew Farnell has demanded an apology from a councillor who described a unit he intended to build as “farming of the worst kind”.

The comments, which were reported by local newspaper The Gazette and Herald, were made by liberal councillor Tommy Woodward during a Ryedale planning meeting, in relation to an application to build two new broiler units near Slingsby, North Yorkshire, capable of housing 60,000 birds.

Following the comments, Mr Farnell wrote to Ryedale District Council’s solicitor, Anthony Winship, accusing Cllr Woodward of failing to show objectivity. His letter quoted the members’ code which states that councillors “should listen to the interests of all parties” and take “all relevant information into consideration, remaining objective and making decisions on merit”.

Mr Winship has responded saying that, alongside a personal apology, Cllr Woodward would undergo additional planning and member code training.

But Cllr Woodward’s apology, which also appeared in The Gazette and Herald, appears less than apologetic.

He wrote: “I fully regret the fact that Mr Farnell is so thin-skinned that my comments, amounting to five words, should upset him so much. I would also like to say that I wish he were as sensitive to the needs of the chickens in his broiler sheds as he appears to be when criticism is directed at him.”

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