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Planning Procedure Continues for Foston Farm

21 May 2013

UK - Derbyshire county council has opened the latest application from Midland Pig Producers to build a pig unit at Foston Farm for public consultation. A spokesman for the Company explains to ThePigSite the latest developments in this long procedure, which focus on the possible environmental impact of a new unit on this site.

A spokesman for Midland Pig Producers Ltd (MPP) told ThePigSite: "Firstly we approached the County Council to see who we should apply to, it took them six months to decide it was a Local Authority application, we duly applied to local authority, 12 months later we were told it had been decided it was after all to be determined by the county council and therefore we would have to withdraw and submit to County Council.

"The County Council rightly required a draft Environment Agency permit to be in place to ensure they do not pass something that requires IPPC changes and therefore a changed planning application as a consequence. The EA have taken an extraordinary amount of time to assess our application, we do have many others in place, and having been told it was a standard permit originally, only to be told it was a bespoke application one year in.

"We had to re-submit as a bespoke application only to be told one year on it is after all a standard application and we have to re-submit again. We have had four staff changes at EA during our application, each one requiring different process or information, some of which required building prototypes to run models on to prove the technology, taking months in the process. We await their determination at this time having supplied all the information requested.

"The County Council have decided to put the application out to a 90-day public consultation and we believe assess the proposal following this," he added.

According to its web site, leading pig production company, MPP is seeking planning approval for 30 acres of land adjacent to Foston Prison, Foston, Derbyshire, to develop a pig farm with an integral biogas plant to generate environmentally friendly energy. This is potentially one of the most exciting developments in farming for many years, already hailed as the next Agricultural Revolution.

If planning permission is granted, MPP says the site will inextricably link agriculture and environmentally-friendly power generation in a move that will bring further prosperity to the rural economy in the area. It will also bring employment opportunities, both on-site where it is anticipated that nearly 20 jobs will be created and throughout the local area as associated contracts are fulfilled.

When complete, it is planned that the site will house 2,500 sows and offspring in a state-of-the-art unit, producing 1,000 pigs a week for sale.

MPP is assuring people that there will be none of the usual smell normally associated with pig farms of any size. Managing Director Martin Barker explains: “There will be three systems in place to ensure that all the gasses (which cause ‘the smell’) are retained for the biogas plant. If one system should fail the other two will still work preventing the ammonia and gasses escaping into the atmosphere.”

ThePigSite News Desk

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