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Our Recent Planning Objections

We have submitted letters objecting to planning permission of two large factory farms in Norfolk, both owned by Cranswick plc, one of the UK’s biggest pork producers. Cranswick has submitted an application to build a mega factory farm in West Norfolk that would house 870,000 chickens and 14,000 pigs. 

Meanwhile, Cranswick is operating a pig farm (Cherry Tree Farm) in Breckland, Norfolk, which houses 7,000 pigs. This operation has led to 380 complaints in less than 4 years, primarily about odours, and our Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the operation has breached its environmental permit 12 times. Furthermore, the factory is operating without having obtained permission for a variation in planning permission, which was submitted in 2021. As such, the portal remains open to planning objections, despite the fact that building appears to be completed. The original planning application was granted in 2018, but was for a different set of plans. 

Our objections letters have focused on the following issues:

  •  The economic, social, and environmental objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework and demonstrating how factory farming fails to meet them.

  • The potential negative impacts of water abstraction and water and air pollution from the farm and related activities, including from increased Heavy Vehicle traffic, slurry spreading, and anaerobic digestates, on a number of environmental aspects, including:

  • The nearby protected habitat sites (Breckland Special Area of Conservation and Norfolk Valley Special Area of Conservation)

  • wild birds such as stone curlew (who are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and make the Breckland Special Protection Area their home)  

  • European protected species such as great crested newts, dormice, bats, and pool frogs (protected by the Habitats Directive)

  • rivers, groundwater, drinking water, and chalk aquifers, most of which are already not achieving good ecological status (which are protected under the Water Framework Directive, Nitrates Directive, Farming Rules for Water, and under zones including Drinking Water Safeguard Zones and Nitrate Vulnerable Zones)

  • The risks of air pollution and biosecurity risks in the form of bird flu to human health

  • The potential likelihood of a nuisance claim due to odours by local residents

  • The requirements for an appropriate assessment to be taken before planning permission is granted in an area that could affect a protected habitat site (Site of Specific Scientific Interest, or SSSI) under the habitats directive. 

An issue we have brought to the attention of the local council in West Norfolk is the need to take “in combination approach” to assess the interested parties’ other planning applications, and to consider the necessary baseline for an adequate air quality assessment.

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