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Villagers set to fight large scale chicken farm plans for Horham and Southolt

Horham residents at the site of the proposed chicken farm. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
Horham residents at the site of the proposed chicken farm. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

Villagers are launching an immediate protest after plans were revealed for two large-scale chicken farms.

Residents in Horham and Southolt have raised concerns about plans by Epigs Ltd, based in Hoxne, to build 12 poultry sheds on land south of the B117 in Horham and east of Woodlane in Southolt.

The poultry farms could house up to 800,000 chickens, on a five-week cycle, amounting to millions of chicken a year.

Almost 100 objections, including from some residents from surrounding villages, have been lodged with Mid Suffolk District Council, 70 of which were submitted within 48 hours of residents learning about the plans.

Horham resident and poet Jacques Groen said: “It will lie like a huge open sore in a vale of the river Horham Beck, in plain sight, a mere stone’s throw away from Horham’s Manor Park.

“The surrounding hedges and woodlands have already uglyfied in preparation, cut down to the size of small hedges, robbing its animals of home and shelter.

“The popular footpaths around this beautiful vale will be reduced to a stroll in an ugly, noisy, horrendously smelly industrial estate, which will equally affect village life and has roughly the same footprint as the Horham housing stock.

“The extra traffic will be rumbling through our small lanes and villages, making life unsafe, bringing in pollution and breaking up road surfaces. It will add nothing but the destruction of an idyllic corner of our rural life.

“The farms would be gigantic and action against them has to match this calculated and ruthless enterprise.”

Mid Suffolk District Council has been seeking opinion for two environmental impact assessments submitted by the company.

If the plans go ahead, 507,600 broiler chickens would be raised at the Southolt farm, and 296,100 at the Horham site. Six new jobs could be created in total.

Southolt and Horham and Athelington parish councils have both lodged objections.

A spokesman for the council said: “These are very early stage technical consultations and we will publish a scoping report in two weeks.

“Any full application will be subject to full public consultation as part of the planning process.”

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