Plans for a pig farm in Upton have been given the green light – to the anger of objectors who fear it could cause a drop in house prices, air pollution and disease in the area.
West Lindsey District Council has been criticised for making the “undemocratic” decision to approve the development, which would hold up t0 2,000 animals at a site off Cow Lane.
The application from farmer Tim Elwess has now been approved by members of the council’s planning committee – despite more than 7,000 objections from residents and animal activitists
Speaking at the hearing, Councillor Jamie Allen, Upton Parish Council chairman, said he had received 196 letters of objection from residents who believed the pig farm would result in a loss of quality of life.
Coun Allen said: “The categorization of waste from the proposed site is offensive and cannot go unchallenged.
“Large numbers of animal carcasses along with wet and dry waste would be stored at the pig farm.
“Upton residents will not rest if our arguments are overruled.”
Coun Jessie Milne, district council member for Lea, said lorries travelling to and from the farm could cause an accident, as the “roads around Upton are very narrow with dangerous junctions”.
She said the pig farm would create a “foul smell” due to manure being spread over surrounding land.
Residents also raised concerns about “the spread of bacteria” from the farm and the risk of disease outbreaks.
But Coun Hugo Marfleet, who supported the application, branded the claims “scaremongering”.
He said: “We live in Lincolnshire, the farming capital of England – there are pig and chicken farms everywhere.
“The farm is designed in an appropriate way, clearing out muck daily and preventing any build-up of smell.
“We have been spreading manure on our land for centuries.
“The Environment Agency has given the plans the go ahead and the farmer has given them a lot of thought – you don’t invest this kind of money just to annoy the neighbours.”
Upton resident John Spencer critcised the “undemocratic” decision taken by councillors.
Mr Spencer, who has lived in Upton for 35 years, said:“When pig farming moves in, surrounding communities deteriorate.
“One would expect a more professional approach from the council to such an important decision, but the health and asset loss to homes does not matter one jot. Democratic this decision was not.”
Farmer Tim Elwess said: “I won’t apologise for being a farmer or a meat eater. This is not intensive. It is not 25,000 pigs or a pig factory. We didn’t sit back and design the farm on the back of an envelope to see how many pigs we could cram in – we are adhering to documented animal welfare standards.”
However, Isobel Hutchinson, animal rights campaign group Animal Aid, said: “We are deeply disappointed that, in spite of overwhelming public opposition, this factory farm has been allowed to go ahead.
“The farm will cause nearly 2,000 pigs to suffer in crowded conditions, before facing a brutal death at the slaughterhouse.”