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General objection advice

As a UK resident, you have the power to influence planning decisions by submitting


an objection to the planning team at your local authority.

Planning objections have greater weight when individual letters and emails are
submitted rather than a petition. So it’s worth scouting through the application and
seeing what applies.

Unfortunately, at this point in time animal welfare is not a consideration in the


planning process (feel free to mention it but don’t focus too heavily on this aspect). It
is better to pin your objection letter on a range of alternative points including:

 How the planned development doesn’t fit with the surroundings in terms of
use and design.
 Impact on road traffic, parking and general road safety.
 Disruption to local life including such things as noise and light pollution.
 Negative environmental impacts.
 How the plans are not in keeping with the surroundings in terms of design and
use.
 How the plan departs from the approved development plan for that area.

Animal Aid’s recent objection to the Rufforth was centred on the following points. We
hope this will give you some ideas that might be relevant to other similar
applications.

Potential wildlife impact/ conflict

 The potential or actual presence of protected or priority species, namely great


crested newts, badgers, bats and a variety of bird species.
 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the area
 The presence plant communities of note, mature trees and established
hedgerow.

Proximity to Ancient Woodland


 The presence of Ancient or semi-natural woodland.

The York Greenbelt


The negative impact upon the openness and character of the local Green Belt.

Noise
 Noise disruption to nearby properties through a constant high level of noise
from high velocity roof exhaust fans.

Air pollution and smell


 Air pollution from the ammonia particularly during the cleaning cycle.
 There are serious concerns for citizen’s health with Ammonium Nitrate.

Visual obstruction/ scale of development


 The sizable poultry sheds and feed would certainly impact the visual
landscape.

Geology/soils
 The presence of nearby arable land, which could be used to grow crops for
human consumption.

Flood risk
 Flood risk, which if un-mitigated could lead to moderate adverse impact.

Groundwater/ Acquifer
 Whether site lies upon a principal aquifer, carried by the underlying bedrock.
 Groundwater resources which have been assessed to be highly sensitive to
impacts.
 Concerns about contamination of local waterways engendering humans and
wildlife.
 The presence of groundwater abstraction licenses.
 The presence of local water courses such as streams.

Drinking water safeguard zone
 Whether the site if considered a ‘Safeguard Zone (Surface Water).

Drainage and the potential for standing water


 The heavy nature of the soil creating standing surface water or the risk of
flooding.

Nitrate Vulnerable Zone


 Check Defra’s ‘Magic Map’ and see if the site has any special classifications,
such as being a ‘Nitrate Vulnerable Zone’.

Light pollution
 Concerns about light pollution, especially during times when surrounding trees
and other vegetation are not in full leaf.

Socio-economic impacts
 Negative impacts on the local economy due to people not wishing to visit the
site.
Human health and safety
 Intensive poultry farms still represent a serious health and safety hazard,
since the crowded, dirty conditions form an ideal breeding ground for
contagious diseases.
 Diseases such as avian flu, campylobacter and salmonella can be transmitted
to human workers, or transferred on their clothing, and carried out into the
wider community, putting lives at risk.

Increased traffic
 Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are anticipated to visit the site each day during
construction works and once the site is operational. The associated threat to
local resident’s health and safety.
 Concerns about the impact of additional HGV traffic upon unsuitable rural
roads.

Construction phase potential negative impacts


 There would be an increase in noise pollution and dust creation during the
‘build’ phase.
 There’s a potential for spillage of liquids and materials used during the
construction works through processes of handling and storage.
 There is also a potential for fuel and oil leaks from vehicles transporting plant
and machinery to site which could contaminate land, surface waters and
ground waters.

Operational phase potential negative impacts


 Potential spillage of fuel and oil leaks from vehicles, plant and machinery.
Additionally, the potential spillage of kerosene which is to be used as a back-
up fuel.
 Potential spillage of feed when collecting from feed silos and stray waste. This
in turn could have a negative impact upon the wild bird population. Birds may
be attracted to feed at the area and become victims of bird-strike from passing
air traffic from the nearby aviation operations.
 Potential contamination of surrounding land from tainted water run-off from
animal housing wash down.

The potential air quality impacts during the operational phase includes:
 Dust, odour and ammonia from the operation;
 Vehicle exhaust emissions including nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter
associated with Heavy Goods Vehicles and cars visiting the farm.
 Residual emissions from the stacks serving the biomass boilers.

Animal Welfare concerns


 Cramped conditions inside the shed, with very little space for the birds to
move around.