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Foston mega-farm decision could be delayed until 2013

Wednesday 10 October 2012

A planning decision over acutely controversial proposals to build a mega-farm at Foston, Derbyshire will be delayed until next year, it has emerged.


The Wire actor Dominic West at a protest against the Foston propsals organised by Pig Business

The process, which has attracted the attention of animal welfare and rights groups from across the country, has been ongoing for over two years. Midlands Pig Producers plans to build a mega-farm housing up to 25,000 pigs on land near Foston Prison in Derbyshire. However, there have been over 20,000 objections registered with planners since the scheme was unveiled.


Protestors have warned, contrary to MPP’s assurances, that the site would risk spreading disease, creating pollution, affecting smaller farmers, and could have implications for animal welfare.


The County Council has requested further information on the proposals’ potential environmental impact before it presses ahead with the decision making process. Although the Environment Agency has been charged with delivering this assessment, the agency said that MPP has stalled in response to its own requests for information.


An EA spokesperson said MPP asked for an extension to be granted in response to enquiries in February this year. The applicant now has until January 2013 to submit the necessary information to the agency.


The plans caused a furore in 2011, following as they did the dispute over aborted plans to build an 8,000 cow duper-dairy in Nocton, Lincolnshire. In November, South Derbyshire District Council, the body formerly responsible for the planning decision, elected to object to MPP’s proposals.


The planning decision will now be made by Derbyshire County Council. Although a decision was initially expected this year, this now seems unlikely.


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