Response 402775256

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Seeking your views

4. Please provide your comments on the environmental permit application received from Newcome-Baker Farms Limited

Please provide your comments on the environmental permit application received from Newcome-Baker Farms Limited (Required)
Environmental Permit Number : EPR/AP3439DZ/A001 Regulated facility type : 6.9 A(1) a) (I) intensive farming: > 40,000 poultry Regulated facility location : Whin Close Poultry Farm, Docking Road, Sedgeford, Hunstanton, Norfolk PE36 5LL General Operational Management of the proposed Facility This operation will not be managed by the applicant, but a third party (Banham Poultry) who have not given any details, to date, concerning the day to day running of the facility. It has been stated in the documentation that there will only be 1 or possibly 2 personnel employed and no indication of the hours of work. The original application for 8 sheds included employee accommodation on site, but this is no longer the case. Consequently, there is no information on what remedial actions will be in place if there is an accident or incident during the hours the site is not being manned. Who is the licence actually being granted to, Newcome Baker Farms, their agent (Acorus), or Banham Poultry? Control of odour, noise, litter, pests Whatever claims have been made by the applicant, there can be no control of odour once the doors of the sheds are opened and the birds are being removed. Nor can there be control of odour once the cleaning process begins and the spent litter removed to be spread in the surrounding area. This is an area where the economy is heavily reliant on tourism, and any negative impact on air quality will have a huge impact. Control of handling and storage of residual wastes from the process Anglian Water have raised concern that there is potential for contamination to the groundwater supply within the Source Protection Zone 2 designation. Indeed the sheds will be approximately 2 km from the Sedgeford borehole within this zone. This borehole is the main source of drinking water to both Heacham and Hunstanton. Not only would the possible contamination cause disastrous consequences from both operations on the site, but also from the spreading of spent litter on the surrounding fields. Additionally, the considerable amount of water consumption required for the operation of the site and the considerable increase in additional housing planned for this area, will compromise an already fragile water supply. The Environment Agency itself have also raised concerns in this regard and imposed various conditions with regard to present/potential contaminant linkage to controlled waters, without which the proposed development of this site poses an unacceptable risk to the environment. However the applicant, or agent, has omitted to respond to the reply to items 8j and 8k as they are not the operators of the site. Nevertheless manure and slurry, and/or waste water will be spread on land owned by Newcome Baker Farms. Potential impacts on the environment Within the submission for planning permission there was no definitive information on the impact for Pink Footed Geese or ground breeding birds. The information submitted was totally inadequate as the survey was carried out after the period when the birds would have been nesting. This is totally unacceptable and should be disallowed. As the site is in close proximity to two RSPB sites there is a serious risk of cross contamination to birds at both Snettisham and Titchwell reserves which could then be spread to much greater areas when the birds migrate from the Wash. The site is close to the Heacham River and at a higher ground level. Two years ago work was carried out on this chalk river by the Norfolk Rivers Trust, in collaboration with yourselves, to improve the natural environment for wildlife and plants. Any pollution entering this water course will have a devastating effect. Potential impacts on Health There have been numerous objections to this proposal from members of the medical profession, including one from an eminent A & E consultant based at the local hospital, who has raised serious concerns at the increasing use of antibiotics routinely used in poultry factories for disease prevention. Using antibiotics in this way leads to a reduction in the effect of important antibiotics in human medicine. There is also a greater risk of emissions and/or effluents damaging the health of those who live in the area from exposure to airborne dust contaminated with pathogens such as salmonella, campylobacter, MRSA and E.coli causing asthma and chronic bronchitis. This area of Norfolk has a high proportion of elderly retired people with existing medical conditions such as COPD who could be greatly affected by such emissions. Any local factors not considered Granting a licence for the operation of this site would substantially impact on the environment in so many ways. The area is a magnet for vast numbers of tourists, cyclists, walkers, bird watchers, horse riders, car clubs etc. The area is attractive to so many people, for so many reasons, that would be seriously compromised by the introduction of such an enterprise. The local economy relies heavily on tourism which could be seriously compromised. More importantly, there are primary schools in both Sedgeford and Docking where the children could also be affected. Footnote There were 10 Parish Councils and 1 Town Council raising legitimate objections to this planning application which were totally disregarded by the KLBC Planning Committee, in addition to the overwhelming well informed objections registered on their website. This is not “nimbyism” for the sake of it, but a case of "not in any body's back yard” because it is potentially dangerous to their quality of life. As you state,. your broad remit means you play a major role in people's day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink. I, and many others, in the surrounding communities sincerely hope you mean it and do not grant this licence.