Pig farm applicant withdraws proposal following lengthy tussle

Midland Pig Producers (MPP) has withdrawn its planning application for what campaign groups called “one of Britain’s first factory farms”, after the Environment Agency (EA) rejected its proposals.

The company received significant opposition form the local community after a unit to house 24,500 pigs was proposed in 2011 in Foston, Derbyshire. The Environment Agency eventually refused to grant a permit for the farm due to potential odour pollution.

Farms not Factories called the withdrawal a “significant victory for local campaigners”, with 38,000 objections having been lodged.

However MPP criticised the length of the decision process: “Unfortunately, the time taken by the Environment Agency to reach its conclusions has drawn out the entire process way beyond our initial estimates, something totally beyond our control, but we appreciate the pressure this has placed on the planning authorities and the lengthy period of uncertainty for local residents, both of which we feel could have been avoided.

“We believe that there should be a fundamental overhaul of the planning and permit application process to prevent such a long-winded situation from occurring again.”

The EA had not been satisfied that the unit’s activities could take place “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”,

Local actor Dominic West was one of the celebrities who joined in with the campaign to stop the farm. He said: “The proposed factory farming of 25,000 pigs is an abomination.

“I hope MPP will not just set up somewhere else so, when we buy British, we know we are not supporting this type of cruel and dangerous farming. The costs are much too high, from the superficial horrors of stench and stressed, unhealthy animals to antibiotic resistance that brings us closer to the end of antibiotics as a cure for human diseases. The world must move on, and we can all help by only buying pork from high-welfare UK farms.”

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