A plan to rear up to 300,000 chickens every seven weeks on a farm near Brackley has been recommended for approval by council planners despite hundreds of people opposing it.
Farmer Peter Rymer wants to build six large units plus ancillary buildings on Middle Farm south of Mixbury to diversify the arable business to guard against Brexit uncertainties.
But 555 people signed a petition and 274 letters were sent opposing the scheme, with concerns about the impact on the countryside, smell and noise pollution and increased traffic.
The Cherwell District Council planning officer’s report says the proposal ‘would undoubtedly have a harmful impact upon the rural character and appearance of the landscape’ and impact three listed buildings on the farm.
However it should be allowed due to the need to secure the farm’s long term viability through rearing broiler chickens, the creation of two new jobs and the consideration that it would not cause harm in terms of environmental pollution, highways safety and flooding risk.
The report concludes: “Officers consider that the economic and social benefits identified are also substantial and are sufficient to outweigh the identified harm, albeit that this is a finely balanced matter.
“It is therefore concluded that the proposal constitutes sustainable development and the application is recommended for approval.”
Planning committee members will make the final decision at a meeting on Thursday (May 30).