Councillors set to approve indoor pig farm with 1,000 animals in Doncaster village despite mass opposition from PETA

Doncaster Council officers have said there is no reason why an indoor rearing farm with 1,000 pigs cannot be approved close to a borough village despite mass opposition.

Applicant Richard Lodge wants to erect a livestock building for a pig finishing unit along associated infrastructure at Toecroft Farm off Toecroft Lane in Sprotbrough.

But the plans have prompted mass opposition with over 470 objections from nearby residents including from Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband, charities and animal welfare organisations.

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One of the three petitions against the plans, set up by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was signed by 22,000 people while another on change.org had over 3,000 signatures.

Toecroft Farm

Reasons given from residents in the Sprotbrough area as to why they were against the plans included odour, traffic issues and an increase in vermin and flies.

A number of people also raised concerns around the intense farming practice and its impact on the environment.

But council bosses said they ‘do not have clear evidence’ to justify whether the proposed unit would significantly impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Sprotbrough Parish Council also objects to the development mainly relating to the impact on amenity in relation to noise, odour and waste and detriment on the highway network.

Council clerk Emma Garner, representing the view of the authority, said: “The proposed application will have a significant impact on the enjoyment of their home, the village of Sprotbrough and the surrounding area with persistent odour pollution from the development either by the effect of prevailing winds or the pooling of odour.

“The proposed development will also cause damage to the village economy.

“The parish council believe they have considered and offered overwhelming evidence to support the objection to the development and the claim that the application site is wholly inappropriate in the proposed location, being located too close to residential property.”

If approved, the building will accommodate 996 pigs from 40kg through to finished weight of 110kg. The site is fully enclosed with the pigs being indoors at all times.

The unit will provide pig accommodation on a fully slatted slurry based system, in which the slurry is emptied twice per annum. The slurry will be primarily be used as a fertiliser for the existing fields

The wider proposal includes the construction of two feed silos, a rain water harvesting tank; plant storage room and concrete loading area.

Planning officer Jessica Duffield said: “The proposal is considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

“Officers have identified no adverse economic, environmental or social harm that would significantly or demonstrably outweigh the benefits identified when considered against the policies in the planning framework taken as a whole.

“The proposal is compliant with the adopted development plan and adopted policies and there are no material considerations which indicate that the application should be refused.”