A planned chicken farm opposed by more than 1,300 people in an online petition looks set to be refused – six years after the proposals were submitted.

Shropshire Council planning officers say applicants L J Cooke and Son have failed to supply enough information about the four intensive poultry sheds they want to build at North Farm in Felton Butler, to house a total of 200,000 birds, and have now ruled the scheme should be turned down.

The council’s northern planning committee will meet next week to vote on the plans, which sparked a local campaign after they were lodged in November 2017.

An online petition against the application was signed by 1,309 people, while the application itself received objections from 23 households and only one letter of support.

Concerned locals said the road network which would be used by lorries getting to and from the farm would not cope with the extra traffic, noise, odour, pollution and the impact on the landscape. They also said there were already four other chicken farms within a two mile radius, and the cumulative impact needed to be considered.


Great Ness and Little Ness Parish Council objected to the application, saying the proposed HGV route was “unsuitable” and said the applicant’s supporting documents covering noise, ecology and odour were “inadequate”.

Further objections were raised by Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Nesscliffe Hills & District Bridleway Association, while Natural England and the council’s own ecology team said further information was required to provide assurance that the scheme would not harm the surrounding environment.

Ecology officers said: “The submitted information contains many discrepancies and contradictions and it is unclear what ammonia mitigation is being proposed to support the development.”

A report by planning officer Kelvin Hall to the committee acknowledges there would be “economic benefits” and judges that assessments relating to noise and odour “have satisfactorily demonstrated that the operation can be undertaken at this site without adversely affecting local amenity”.

But it ultimately recommends that councillors refuse the application, saying: “However the submitted information does not provide a satisfactory level of assessment in relation to potential ecological impacts from ammonia emissions.

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“It is therefore not possible to determine whether or not the proposal would have significant effects on ecological assets, which include ancient woodland and sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs).

“In addition, the proposals put forward for the management of manure arising from the operation are insufficient and do not demonstrate to a satisfactory degree that this indirect effect of the development would not give rise to adverse environmental impacts on local amenity and in relation to pollution.

“Additionally, insufficient information has been submitted as part of the Environmental Statement to enable an assessment of the likely highways impacts of the proposal, particularly in relation to the proposed export of manure from the site.

“Notwithstanding the landscape mitigation proposals put forward, the proposed development would result in adverse levels of impact on the local landscape character and on visual effects.

“Whilst the mitigation would help to reduce these in time, it is not considered that the proposal would provide sufficient benefits to outweigh these impacts.

The committee will meet at 2pm on Tuesday to decide the application.