Poultry welfare supports delivery hours variation

Despite council concerns over disturbance to nearby residents, an inspector has agreed to relax a condition governing operating hours at an egg farm in north Wales.

The farm, which produced eggs as a culture medium for flu vaccines, occupied a rural site with some houses in the vicinity. The appellant sought changes to the condition to allow birds to be delivered or collected 24 hours a day and to remove a bank holiday restriction. The application had been refused permission on the basis that traffic at night and in the early hours of the morning would disturb nearby residents.

The enterprise operated an annual flock cycle, with four lorries delivering birds at the beginning of the cycle and four lorries collecting them 48 weeks later. The appellant sought to alter delivery and collection times in line with RSPCA animal welfare requirements, which suggested that such movements should be undertaken at night or in the early hours when birds are resting. Given the low number of trips involved and the distances between the farm and nearby properties, the inspector concluded that the timing of deliveries and collections would not significantly worsen neighbours’ living conditions.

The appellants also sought to lift a bank holiday restriction on collections, arguing that long holiday weekends impaired the eggs’ shelf life. As collections were limited to two small lorries per week and bank holiday collections would only lead to a couple of extra visits per year, the inspector decided that relaxing the condition would not unacceptably affect neighbours' living conditions. He allowed the appeal without the disputed condition, imposing a varied condition.

Inspector: Iwan Lloyd; Written representations

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