Campaigning residents who live near a controversial chicken farm between Highbridge and East Huntspill have this week welcomed news of an official hearing about the site.
Residents living near Newbridge Farm in New Road, East Huntspill, have been told by Sedgemoor District Council that the hearing about the farm’s planning and enforcement appeals on its appearance is to be held on October 6th.
Residents have long campaigned about the problem of “pungent smells” emerging from the site which they say make their lives a misery.
Resident and campaigner Ian Stanbury told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: “We are pleased that the date for the hearing has actually been set. It’s been over four years since the site at Newbridge Farm was redeveloped and became an extremely conspicuous blot on the Somerset landscape. It’s highly visible from the top of Brent Knoll, let alone from the nearby tourist-dependent caravan and camping parks.”
He adds: “We think it’s crazy that it has taken this long for such a significant and obvious breach of planning permission to be dealt with. Without the continued pressure from our campaign providing a focus for nearby residents and local business owners to voice their objections, this issue is unlikely to have been addressed. We hope the hearing is a step towards the site owner, Amber Real Estate Investments, being brought to account for what we believe is a flagrant disregard of planning rules.”
“At the same time, the site owner’s sister company, Hook 2 Sisters, which runs the industrial chicken farming operation, is also under scrutiny. They are coming under increasing pressure from the Environment Agency to address the continued non-compliance with their Environmental Permit for the odour problems that have plagued locals for four years now.”
“It has taken some time and tested our patience along the way but we’re hopeful action will now be taken by the authorities to sort out this planning and environmental travesty.”