Economic benefits of poultry sheds greater than road safety and noise harms

Two large poultry sheds and a biomass building at a farm in Cheshire were approved subject to mitigation to reduce harms to nearby residents from night-time noise disturbance and road safety from heavy goods vehicle movements.

The inspector considered two of the main issues revolved around the impact of the proposal on local road safety and possible noise distrurbance for nearby residential occupiers. The sheds were substantial at 105 metres by 35 metres each, accommodating around 100,000 birds. The highway authority had objected to the proposal on the grounds of narrow, class III roads and difficult junctions in the locality. However, the inspector felt, given the lack of recorded accidents and the average increase of HGV movements of two per day, there would not be a severe cumulative impact on road safety.

Regarding noise impacts for local occupiers, the nearest resident was 265 metres away. The inspector considered that, subject to acoustic barrier mitigation, the night time use of the units, including up to 24 movements over 12 hours, would be acceptable given the activity to remove the birds would take place on only 16 nights per year and the maximum noise levels would be less than 45 decibels. In summing up, the inspector held the social and economic benefits of the proposal in contributing to the rural economy and making the farm more viable outweighed the environmental harms.

Inspector: Bern Hellier; Hearing


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