Controversial plan to create 1,000-pig farm in South Yorkshire village to be considered again after site visit

A plan for a 1,000 pig rearing farm close to a Doncaster village is set to be heard again after councillors deferred the application for a site visit.

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 more than 470 objections from nearby residents including from Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband, charities and animal welfare organisations.

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Councillors on the planning committee deferred the application last month in order to visit the site and to assess the concerns raised by residents.

Toecroft Farm

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.

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.

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 indoor at all times.

The unit will provide pig accommodation on a fully slatted slurry based system, in which the slurry is emptied twice a year. 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.

The application will be heard at 2pm on Tuesday, June 29 at Civic Office.