Stench concerns over farmer’s plan to rear up to 300,000 chickens

A farmer’s bid to diversify his business by rearing up to 300,000 chickens every seven weeks has caused concern among nearby villagers.

Peter Rymer wants to build six large barns and associated buildings for the broiler chicken production on his farm south of Mixbury.

Middle Farm, Mixbury. NNL-190423-184711009

Middle Farm, Mixbury. NNL-190423-184711009

But dozens of objections have been lodged to the planning application with many fearing the smell, noise and increased traffic.

A comment used by numerous opposers says despite assurances the odour will be mitigated, it is likely they will be adversely affected by the ‘putrid’ smells from the ‘factories’ and manure spreading.

The script includes quotes from those living next to existing sites ‘it makes me want to gag’, ‘the smell is repulsive’, and ‘my parents live by one, it reeks, I hardly ever take my children to visit as a result.’

David Balko from Mixbury wrote: “This type of animal rearing on such a large scale cannot be considered farming – this is a conservation area and given the scale of proposed sheds this industrial approach to farming does not fit in with the immediate area.”

As well as the 2,328sqm barns, the £5m development would also have a ‘dead bird store’, a water tank, 12 feed bins and a ‘catching canopy’ on a field next to Middle Farm on Featherbed Lane.

A planning statement says the current arable crops are reliant on government subsidies which are not guaranteed since the Brexit vote.

So Mr Rymer wants to diversify into poultry rearing, which is seeing a rise in demand in the UK.

To view the application, search for ‘19/00423/F’ at www.publicaccess.cherwell.gov.uk/online-applications