12:53 Tuesday 05 February 2013

Anger after pig farm is given time extension

Written byBY HELEN KREFT

VILLAGERS have expressed their anger and frustration after plans to build one of the UK’s largest pig farms on their doorstep have been delayed.

The development in Foston was first suggested in 2009 and if given the go ahead, will house more than 25,000 pigs on a sprawling 70 acre site close to the homes and 492ft (150m) away from the women’s prison with its own childbirth unit.

Residents are concerned over the potential health risks, as well as problems with noise, dust , traffic and potential vermin and odours.

Protesters say, in the latest development, Midland Pig Producers Ltd (MPP), whose parent company is JT Leavesley, has again ‘failed to provide adequate information to support its planning application’, and have requested a further extension until May 2013.

Sue Weston, who lives near the proposed site, said “We have had the threat of this development hanging over our family for nearly four years - my son has recently had open heart surgery and I have been suffering with ill health bought on by stress. This nightmare must end - it proves how ill-conceived the plans are and how the implications on health were not considered. I ‘m one of hundreds of local residents who will be affected by this”

Local campaigner James Davies added: “These continued delays and requests for extensions prove that the Midland Pig Producers had no idea of the complexities involved in running such a scheme. As a company, they have no experience of running a factory farm as big as the one they are proposing, and as more information about the potential health risks associated with sites like this become available its clear that the company is facing an uphill battle.

“Its time that common sense prevailed and MPP withdraw its plans and find a more suitable site, well away from human habitation. Either that or the planners throw this half cocked idea out.”

A spokesman for Midland Pig Producers said: “The Environment Agency requested some additional information which we are happy to provide. However, unfortunately, the independent expert who has been asked to undertake analysis of our data has been unwell, meaning that we could not provide the requested information by January 31. Therefore we requested and were granted a short extension.”

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