152-home plan next door to Laceby pig farm could be approved with 30m buffer zone
Laceby pig farmer John Starkey, who is opposed to plans to build 152 homes on land near his pig farm.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 19 Jun 2018
A 30m 'buffer zone' could be created to protect brand new homeowners from the stench of a next door pig farm.
Plans to build 152 homes just metres from a pig farm in Laceby have been recommended for approval by council officers, but with a raft of conditions.
Hopes to build on the five hectare site, off Field Head Road, have encountered difficulty in the past, with the pig farmer next door fearing noise, smell and flies from his farm could prompt a flurry of complaints from homeowners.
Laceby pig farmer John Starkey, who is opposed to plans to build 152 homes on land near his pig farm. He is pictured with his grandsons, Joseph Starkey, 10 and George Starkey, 6.
John Starkey, whose family have operated at Hazeldene Farm for 58 years, said construction on the site would "utterly destroy" his quality of life.
His concerns culminated in a three-day planning appeal in 2016, with a Government inspector rejecting the application on the basis it could be negatively affected by smells from the piggery.
But an odour assessment accompanying the latest proposal for the site dismissed concerns.
And council officers have now recommended councillors approve the plan on June 20, along with the condition that a 30m buffer zone be created on the northern boundary where no houses can be built.
Architects plans for the 152 home development
The assessment, commissioned by developer Humberside Land Developers Ltd, found "no objective evidence" to suggest that the proposed development would be adversely affected by odours - even if pig numbers increased.
It concluded: "There are no reasons to expect that the potential development would impose any restrictions on the operation of the pig rearing enterprise.
"In fact existing residential developments are at a higher risk of being exposed to 'complaint' odours if the ever farm returns to former stocking levels."
North East Lincolnshire Council's planning committee will make a decision on the homes plan in outline, with more details about the layout and landscaping of the development subject to further approval.
Speaking to the Grimsby Telegraph in January, Mr Starkey said development so close to his farm would adversely affect new residents, generate a raft of complaints and drive his family out of business.
Some of the 130 pigs looked after by Laceby pig farmer John Starkey who is opposed to plans to build 152 homes on land near his pig farm.
He said: “My legitimate business activities create a number of unavoidable physical effects, including the generation of noise, smell, flies, vehicle movements, delivery and collection, manure handling, storage and disposal.
"These are potentially 24-hour effects in some case and certainly otherwise outside recognised office hours, when most domestic property occupiers would be seeking not to be disturbed.”
He added: “I believe that if the proposed development is permitted, complaints and general operational difficulties will eventually drive my family out of business.”
Planning officers have also recommended councillors approve conditions relating to highway safety, parking and construction.
The Planning Committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 20, at 9.30am in Grimsby Town Hall.