AN INTENSIVE poultry farm could double in size under plans expected to be approved next week.

Knockin Hall Farm currently rears up to 100,000 chickens at a time in two sheds, and is asking Shropshire Council for permission to build two more, to allow it to up its capacity to 200,000.

Planning officers have concluded that the scheme should be granted approval, but the final decision is in the hands of the northern planning committee.


A report by case officer Philip Mullineux says concerns were initially raised over ammonia emissions, which the applicants have sought to address through the addition of scrubbers to the new and existing units.

The Environment Agency has already granted a permit variation for the proposed extra chickens.

Knockin Parish Council has supported the application but objections have been lodged by two members of the public, citing concerns over the impact on nearby residents, noise and pollution.

Mr Mullineux’s report says there is “strong national and local policy support for development of agricultural businesses which can provide employment to support the rural economy” but acknowledges that poultry units can have “significant impacts”.

The report says there were no objections from council departments including ecology, highways and regulatory services, or other consultees including Natural England and the Environment Agency.

It concludes: “It is acknowledged that the development is significant in scale and does have a limited impact on the local landscape, however it is considered that the proposed development with consideration to the surrounding landscape character and topography and field layout with further landscape mitigation can be successfully integrated into the surrounding landscape.

“Consideration has also been given to impacts on the historic landscape which includes the setting of designated and non- designated heritage assets.

“Therefore, on balance with consideration to the location, size and scale and cumulative impacts, it is considered that there will not be an adverse impact with further landscape mitigation.

“Also with consideration to overall economic benefits and production of local food with further landscape mitigation in the form of native plantings and consideration to the external colour of the development, on balance acceptable in principle.”

The application will be decided by the planning committee at a meeting next Tuesday.