Major Breckland pig farm expansion gets the green light
© Archant Norfolk 2013
A major proposed expansion to a pig unit in the Brecks has been approved by district planners.
Wayland Farms has been given full planning permission to upgrade its existing piggery at Cherry Tree Farm in Stow Bedon, near Watton.
The plans involve the demolition of 10 dated piggery buildings, and the construction of seven new sheds to accommodate 6,990 pigs, along with ventilation equipment and a new roof for the existing manure store.
Breckland councillors were told the new buildings would be 15m high and 61m long, with a total floor area of 6,386sqm - four times the footprint of the buildings being demolished. The site is currently producing piglets with a capacity of 600 sows, but the new development will be for the finishing of pigs, with no breeding or piglets or slaughter on site.
Stow Bedon and Breckles Parish Council objected to the plans, due to the "massive increase" in the size of the operation, with concerns including the proximity to the Upper Thet watercourse, the potential for odour problems for homes situated downwind, and the increase in traffic on the access road.
But no objections were raised by county highways officers or environmental agencies.
Planning officers said the application was in line with the council's rural development policies, and it was approved by councillors with conditions including that no more than 6,990 pigs of 30kg or over shall be kept on site at any one time, to "prevent unacceptable environmental impacts including to biodiversity and residential amenity."