A long-awaited decision on plans for a new chicken farm housing 200,000 birds has been put off again.

The proposals for North Farm in Felton Butler were lodged in 2017 and were finally set to be decided by Shropshire Council’s northern planning committee on Tuesday afternoon, after being deferred last month to wait for extra information from the applicants.

A report to the committee from planning officers recommended approval of the four poultry units, saying the owners of the farm, L J Cooke and Son, had addressed previous concerns over odour, ammonia, ecology, highways and the visual impact.

However at the start of the meeting, Philip Mullineux, the council’s development manager for the north of the county, told members he was instead recommending another deferral.

Mr Mullineux said the new information provided since last month made significant changes to the proposals, so much so that a fresh consultation period was warranted to allow members of the public and the parish council to view and comment on the new details before a decision is made.


Councillors unanimously voted to defer the application to a future meeting, but stressed it would not necessarily be the next meeting of the committee scheduled for December 5 – meaning it could drag into a seventh year.

The plans have been met with opposition from locals, with 1,300 people signing an online petition when the application was first submitted.

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

Great Ness and Little Ness Parish Council also objected, along with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Nesscliffe Hills & District Bridleway Association.

However a report to councillors from planning officer Kelvin Hall said the scheme would have an economic benefit, and that the applicant had now shown the development would not negatively affect the local area “to an unacceptable degree”.