Govt Agency Joins Opposition to Pig Farm

by 5m Editor
27 May 2011, at 9:43am

STAFFORDSHIRE, UK - The government's Environment Agency is reported to be opposing a new pig farm that will also generate electricity for the National Grid.

Objections have been raised by the Environment Agency over controversial plans for a pig farm near Foston, according to This is Staffordshire.

Midland Pig Producers wants to house up to 25,000 animals on the 28-hectare site, west of Woodland Drive, and plans to use slurry from the farm to generate electricity for the National Grid.

The Post & Times revealed last week that more than 150 people from Uttoxeter had signed a petition against the plans.

Public consultation on the proposals has now opened and more than 2,000 objections have already been received, including a letter from the Environment Agency.

It said it objected because the applicant had failed to provide enough information about how they would manage pollution risks.

In the statement, the agency said: "The applicant has not supplied adequate information to demonstrate that the risks posed to groundwater can be satisfactorily managed. We recommend that permission should be refused."

The agency said its policy was to oppose development proposals that may pollute groundwater.

"In this case, we consider that the proposed development may pose an unacceptable risk of causing a detrimental impact to groundwater quality."

The firm previously applied for planning permission to South Derbyshire District Council and a public consultation drew more than 2,800 objections.

But Derbyshire County Council took over the case when it became clear the plans involved 'substantial waste management' – part of the authority's remit.

Midland Pig Producers said that if permission was granted, construction would begin in 2012.

A spokesman said: "Every effort has been made to provide the Environment Agency with all the information it requires. However, it appears that we are now being asked to provide information that was not requested originally. This is being addressed as quickly as possible and we are working to clear up any outstanding issues."

According to This is Staffordshire, animal rights group, Viva, has previously said it does not believe a farm on such a large scale will guarantee the animals' welfare.

Campaign manager, Justin Kerswell, said: "We and local people are absolutely delighted that the Environment Agency upheld our concerns."