Anger as 8,000 pigs to follow Cliff Richard to Powderham Castle
CLIFF Richard is coming to Powderham Castle in June – and 8,000 pigs could be following in his wake.
Proposals that could see that many porkers being shipped in and out of the Earl of Devon’s Powderham estate on the edges of Exeter are already raising concerns among residents.
No formal planning application has been made but Teignbridge Council has confirmed it has received an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Opinion for an 8,000 capacity pig finishing unit for JMW Farms, based in County Armargh, Northern Ireland.
It is understood this was the first Teignbridge heard of it with no prior discussions or pre-application enquiries.
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The council now has to provide the applicant JMW Farms of Northern Ireland, with the expected documents that should make up an EIA.
Local councillor Alan Connett said: "There is a high level of anxiety about this.Concerns about the road network smells and noise - but there is no planning application yet so I am urging people to hold their protests and opposition until there is one. Objections now won’t count.”
Among those leading the opposition to the poggery idea is the Kenton artist Dr Jo Bowen who said: “This is on the Powderham Estate and we are shocked that an estate which prides itself on weddings, the good life and selling local produce in their Farm Shop should want to introduce such a blight into the area.
“We and our fellow residents can see no net gain for the area and a huge potential loss caused by the pollution and infrastructure burdens that such a unit will bring.
“Many feel that traditional farming and tourism in the area are bound to be adversely affected, as well as residents’ lives. The feeling is running extremely high in the area and we expect a huge number of objections to the planning application once made.”
The proposed factory would take weaners and fattens them, sending them to Taunton for slaughter.
Dr Bowen said: “The proposal is for 8,000 pigs at a time, with a turnaround every three months. This means 32,000 pigs per year will be shipped into and out of the area every year.
“ Constant road haulage of the animals and their feeds will result in substantial extra traffic on an already overstretched local road network.
“Of even greater concern is the pollution, smell and noise which will affect the whole area. Huge quantities of extremely smelly pig slurry are stored on site for long periods, before being sprayed on local fields. Dried pig slurry sprayed on very sandy hilly soil locally will have implication for flies, disease control and possible water contamination. There is still massive scientific controversy concerning these intensive practices, not to mention the ethical concerns.
“And if one factory why not more? We think this would be a first for this area, if the application is made and is successful. We are sure that people in Exeter and more widely in Devon will feel extremely strongly that placing this sort of concern in an sensitive greenfield location is entirely unjustified and runs entirely counter to the character and values of this area.