A long running planning battle over a north Shropshire chicken farm has been resolved, after the scheme was given the go-ahead by Shropshire Council.

Four chicken sheds will now be built to house up to 230,000 birds at North Farm, Felton Butler, along with feed bins and supporting infrastructure.

The authority’s northern planning committee agreed that updated plans to deal with odour pollution and highways movements were enough to satisfy earlier concerns over the scheme – despite strong objections to the proposal from some local residents.

The applicant’s representative told the meeting that six passing places had been incorporated into proposed highways improvements to ease traffic concerns – and that the odour scrubbing technology set to be used was “industry leading”.

However, local resident Peter Ellis said the quality of life for people who lived in and around the farm would suffer – and that the number of chicken farms already operating in the area meant the council should take a wider view on the application, amid objectors concerns over possible effects on the River Severn catchment.

“The many objectors are not NIMBYs. We already live with a 490,000 bird capacity chicken farm near us – this generates odour and traffic,” he told the meeting.

“It is wrong to look at planning permission on a unit by unit basis, a wider perspective is needed urgently. The UK is 96% self sufficient in chicken and we do not need more sites. Please give a higher priority to the environment and the quality of life for residents throughout Shropshire and refuse this application.”

Border Counties Advertizer: The access road to the site.The access road to the site.

Local councillor Ed Potter sought assurances on roads in the area, which he described as the “chicken capital of Shropshire”. He also called for the committee to consider applying “significant and robust” conditions to ensure the roads leading to the site from Felton Butler roundabout were maintained.

However planning specialist Richard Corbett, representing agents Roger Parry and Partners, said they had worked hard with the local authority to overcome the concerns over the scheme, which he said would be “industry leading” with regard to emissions.

“We respect the views of the local objectors and I feel we’ve worked with the council to overcome most of these concerns,” he said.

“We’ve included the most up to date air scrubbing technology, reducing emissions and odour, we will ensure carbon efficient food meeting the ever increasing need for high welfare chicken and ensuring food security.”

When quizzed by councillors, officers said they had considered Defra guidance which recommends a 3km separation gap between chicken farms, but said it did not have sufficient weight to override other conditions in this case.

The scheme was approved by a majority vote of the committee, with one objection and one abstention.