Pig farm appeal causing a stink

Villagers are kicking up stink at the news that plans for a giant pig farm has been taken to appeal.

The application for two livestock buildings and a mobile home on land off Barnsley Lane, at Idridgehay, was rejected by Amber Valley Borough Council but is now set to be decided by the Planning Inspectorate next month.

Applicant, Ian Jones of Ashbourne, hopes to house 960 piglets in each shed and his agent claims that he has chosen the optimum site.

But 50 residents have opposed the scheme, raising fears about smell, contamination and say the lane is not suitable for the planned farm’s articulated lorries.

Campaigner Sid Keeling, of Alton Cottage, said: “The plans are diabolical and feelings haven’t changed.

“This will ruin the special landscape. The narrow lane is not suitable for the lorries they are proposing.

“It was built in the 1860s for horses and carts and to alter that would be to destroy the character of the area. Nobody in this valley supports the plans.”

Campaigners created a protest video on Youtube last year, calling on planners to reject the scheme.

Bosses at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, based in Wirksworth, have also raised concerns about the farm and fear the ancient bridge will not support the 44 tonne articulated lorries.

But agent for the applicant, Chris Thorp, said they would be carrying out road works to the bridge to provide ‘passing places’.

He added: “We feel there is strong justification for allowing the development. We feel the local authority has not acted reasonably in coming to their decision and they have not provided any evidence to support their reasons for refusal.

“We have support from the local authority officers and have worked carefully with them on this application. We believe it is the best possible place as the site is in a hollow, surrounded by trees. It can be seen from certain positions but that doesn’t mean it will be unacceptable.”

The pigs will be brought in to the village from Lincolnshire in articulated lorries and then returned to Lincolnshire after 16 weeks for slaughter.

The application will be determined on Tuesday May 24.