Environment body rejects pig farm proposal

Plans for a pig farm in Derbyshire have been rejected by the Environment Agency amid fears it would “offend the human senses” of its neighbours.

The farm, proposed by Midland Pig Producers in 2011, would see 24,500 pigs housed at the location. However, Midland has received significant opposition over the years from animal welfare groups opposing factory farming, including celebrity protesters Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and actor Dominic West.

The Environment Agency said it was not satisfied activities could be undertaken “without resulting in significant pollution of the environment due to odour, which will result in offence to human senses and impair amenity and/or legitimate uses of the environment.”

Jim Davies, leader of the Foston Community Action Group, said local residents, who had been fiercely opposing the plan, were hugely relieved. “After four years of public consultation the facts are now clear; the applicants provided insufficient information and should now abandon this flawed scheme forever.”

A spokesperson for Midland Pig Producers said, although not the desired outcome, it was pleased a decision was finally made. “Given the history leading to this point, we find it totally unsurprising that, even after such an unfeasibly long period of deliberation and prevarication, our application for an environmental permit has eventually been turned down. And, while not wishing to second-guess any decision by any other body, it seems inevitable that this outcome will provide others with the reason to refuse any application connected with our plans.

“However, now that we have an actual decision, we can move forward. This is not the end of the matter, but the beginning of the second stage.”

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