THERE are plans to build a new poultry house to keep up to 32,000 free-range egg-laying chickens at a farm in north Herefordshire.

C Morris and Son want permission for a new poultry house and roaming area with feed silos at Farlands Fam in Lingen near Presteigne.

They want to expand their business, and this would be complimentary to their existing arable crop enterprises.

The area owned by C Morris and Son extends to around 740 acres.

Consultants working on the scheme say the poultry enterprise is the most appropriate and sustainable option for the future of the business.

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They say this is because existing infrastructure can be used, a suitable site is available at the farmstead and the proposed enterprise is not reliant on subsidy income.

“Free-range egg production is generally a controlled enterprise and it is therefore considered an appropriate and sustainable form of diversification,” the planning documents read.

“One main advantage of a poultry enterprise is that it is not exposed to the same level of price volatility which is experienced by conventional farm enterprises.”

The farm has commissioned consultants to look at the impact the plans would have in terms of odour emissions from the site.

They estimate that emission rates from the poultry house would be well below the Environment Agency’s benchmark for moderately offensive odours for all nearby homes and commercial properties.

“The proposed poultry house would provide accommodation for up to 32,000 egg-laying chickens and would be ventilated via high speed ridge fans, each with a short chimney,” the odour report reads.

“Within the proposed house there would be a belt collection system and the bird’s litter would be removed twice weekly and taken off the farm.

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“The chickens would have daytime access to ranging areas via a series of pop holes.

“Odour emission rates from the proposed poultry house have been assessed and quantified based upon an emissions model that takes into account the likely internal odour concentrations and ventilation rates.

“The odour emission rates so obtained have then been used as inputs to an atmospheric dispersion model which calculates odour exposure levels in the surrounding area.

“The modelling predicts that, at all nearby residences and commercial premises that are not associated with The Farlands Farm, the odour exposure would be well below the Environment Agency’s benchmark for moderately offensive odours, which is a maximum annual 98th percentile hourly mean concentration of 3.0 ouE/m3.

People have until November 26 to comment on the proposals which county planners are expected to consider by January 21, 2021.