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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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23,000-bird poultry unit to go ahead in north Cumbria

A large poultry-breeding unit is set to be built at Smithfield near Longtown.

Hunley Bank Ltd has been granted planning consent for a 64,000sq ft galvanised-steel unit to the west of the village, 200 yards north of the A6071 Longtown-to-Brampton road.

It will accommodate nearly 23,000 birds producing 600,000 chicks each year.

Carlisle city councillors approved the scheme yesterday, despite 16 objections and a petition against the proposal signed by 44 people. The council also received nine letters in support.

The objectors raised concerns about traffic, smells and loss of open countryside. And they argued that the unit might attract vermin.

Two near neighbours addressed the development control committee in person.

Barry Davies, of Ryehill Park, said: “This green-field site, if taken, will be lost for up to 50 years. The lane [where it will be built] will not be safe walkers, dogs or cyclists.”

Margaret Allan, who lives on the A6071, said: “The upheaval caused by the heavy wagons needed to build this will cause major problems. The six months to complete it will be pure hell – the noise, dirt, danger is being completely ignored.

“It’s unfair for large companies to invade our way of life for monetary gain.

“Country folk live in the country for a simple life.”

Planning officer Stephen Daniel said the company’s other poultry units operated without problems.

There would be no deliveries or collections between 9pm and 6am.

Conservative Ray Bloxham said: “I can’t find any planning reason to refuse this.”

The unit is due to accept its first chicks early next year.

It will create six jobs and there will be a mobile home on site to accommodate workers.

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