The proposal for the 2064m sq new plant includes viewing platforms and classroom space for trainee veterinary surgeons, butchers and those involved in the food industry. Additionally, it would allow J&E Metcalfe Ltd to provide animal welfare facilities and act as a local facility for farmers with injured animals.
However, despite 61 letters of support praising the company’s existing business and stressing the need for a local abattoir, other neighbours raised concerns over “terrible smells” and “distressing cries of the sheep”, as well as fears that animal by-products would leak onto the road.
There were also concerns that the plant could pose a biosecurity risk to the neighbouring Bradley Mill Farm and would “upset the demeanour” of cows in surrounding fields.
Greetland and Stainland Ward Councillor Keith Watson objected strongly to the proposal on environmental and road safety grounds and asked for it to be brought to Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee.
In a report to the committee, planning officers recommended that the new abattoir be given approval subject to conditions relating to noise and odour control. The report stated it was unlikely the plant would pose an additional biosecurity risk, adding that “because there will be three slaughterhouses withing the industrial estate, all operating at different times, the supervision from inspectors from the Food Standards Agency is likely to be improved.”
Additionally, it said that the abattoir would be bound by law to prevent leaks of animal-by-products and that the livestock in surrounding fields would have no sight of the slaughter process. “In all respects the sight and sounds from the slaughterhouse will be the same as having another farm adjacent to these two fields," it said.
The Planning Committee was due to consider the application on 31 January. However, Councillor Martin Peel raised concerns about the proposed operating hours of the new plant and the committee voted to delay the decision until later this month, so this can be clarified.