There are some stories about new businesses causing a bit of a stink when they move into a new area or start working in a different manner but in Derbyshire, there has been a real stink about a proposed business. There has been plans in place to introduce a “mega pig farm” to the area but these plans have been rejected by the Environment Agency, the EA, due to the fact that the stench would be an offence to people’s senses. When it comes to a damning comment, it doesn’t get much worse than this, so the findings of any investigation into how difficult the project was going to be must have been damning!

The farm was looking to house up to 24,500 pigs but the EA said that the level of impact the odour of the pigs would have on the local community would have been immense. The proposed site for the pig farm was located within 100 metres of residential property and within 250 metres from a prison. There are some people that wouldn’t have been too concerned about the closeness to the prison but even people in prison have their rights, and this would have been an issue that could have caused major problems.

The EA released a statement about the decision, saying; “We are not satisfied that the activities can be undertaken without resulting in significant pollution of the environment due to odour which will result in offence to human senses and impair amenity and/or legitimate uses of the environment.”

Pig Farm Plans Foiled

The company behind the proposed plans for the farm, Midland Pig Producers, MPP, have been accused of not doing enough to suggest that they have the resources or capabilities to control the smell that would come from the farm. In addition to the smell, there was also a fear that the control plans put in place by MPP would not be satisfactory to prevent ammonia leaching into local reserves, which could have a huge impact on the wildlife habitat in the local community. The fact that local animals were also likely to be subjected to difficulties due to the farm means that there has been a lot of debate from all parties involved with the local area.

MPP have been fighting their corner with considerable strength and power but even after a lengthy planning permission process, they have found that local residents and a number of environmental groups in the local area have had no intention of backing down or making compromises on this matter. MPP are fully aware of the fact that they are unlikely to receive planning permission from Derbyshire Council after the findings from the EA. A company spokesperson said; “Given the history leading to this point we find it totally unsurprising that even after such an unfeasibly long period of deliberation and prevarication our application for an environmental permit has eventually been turned down. And, while not wishing to second-guess any decision by any other body, it seems inevitable that this outcome will provide others with the reason to refuse any application connected with our plans.”

The UK acts differently with respect to Pig Farming

In this instance, the United Kingdom is still lagging behind the approaches undertaken by the United States and Europe with respect to pig farming. In these parts of the world, there has been a movement towards a more intensive approach, likened to a factory style. This is something that not everyone is going to agree with but there has been comments from the National Farmers Union in the UK which has called on the UK pig farming community to move towards this style of set-up.

MPP has 6 farms at the moment in the UK and while they would not be pressed on their next step with respect to this project, their spokesperson said; “Now that we have an actual decision we can move forward. This is not the end of the matter, but the beginning of the second stage.”

While this is a massive scale project that the Environments Agency have worked on for a considerable period of time before submitting their findings, there are many smaller projects and investigations of this nature and ilk being carried out across the United Kingdom all the time. Anyone facing an issue of this nature would be advised to meet with anEnvironment Agency investigation as soon as they possibly can, to ensure that they can provide the most robust defence of their situation and actions.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.