A six year planning saga over a proposed new chicken farm will rumble on even longer, after a decision on the scheme was deferred by councillors.

Shropshire Council’s northern planning committee was told officers had recommended refusal of the plans for four poultry sheds at North Farm in Felton Butler, but members said they wanted to allow the applicants more time to address concerns that had been raised.

The applicant, L J Cooke and Son, first lodged the application in November 2017 but the committee heard that officers were still not happy enough information had been supplied.

Locals have voiced concern over the plans, with 1,300 people signing an online petition when they were first submitted in November 2017.

The application itself attracted objections from 23 households and just one letter of support.


Planning officer Kelvin Hall told the meeting that a new consultation period on the plans had been opened in response to the latest information provided by the applicants, which was due to close at the end of this month.

He said the recommendation from officers was that the plans be refused subject to no other significant representations being received before that date.

His report to the committee said there was not enough information about ammonia pollution, highways impact and landscape mitigation.

The applicant’s agent Richard Corbett, of Roger Parry and Partners, urged the committee not to rush into a decision, with information still awaited from Natural England and the consultation still open.

Councillor Steve Charmley suggested deferring the application to a future meeting, but Tabitha Lythe, planning and development services manager, said: “We have got to get to a point where we say we have got as far as we can reasonably now.

“They can come back and re-submit, and lots of the reasons for refusal are things that could be overcome with sufficient information.”

In response, Councillor Charmley proposed approving the application. This was seconded by Councillor Steve Davenport.

However other members were not so keen. Councillor Julian Dean said: “I find it quite unbelievable that anybody wants to overturn that recommendation and push through what could be a potentially damaging application. I think it’s quite irresponsible.”

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Councillor Vince Hunt, chairing the meeting, said he would rather see the application deferred to allow the applicants to supply extra information.

Councillor Charmley withdrew his proposal to approve the plans and members voted to defer a decision until their November 7 meeting.

Mr Hall’s report to the committee said objectors were concerned about the HGV movements on the local road network, 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 the council’s own ecology team said further information was required to clear up “discrepancies and contradictions” in the submitted documents.