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Cracks in the Giant Egg Plant Plan

by 5m Editor
14 March 2008, at 10:44am

UK - Last December an Egg plant in Scotland was given the go-ahead to expand to a capacity greater than any other in Europe. But the news was not welcomed by everyone, and now local tension is rising to new heights.

Nine buildings have been planned for a greenfield site near Peebles, with an investment of £8 million, each building is set to be huge.


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"We are a local company, employing a considerable number of staff and have always thought that we contribute a great deal to the fragile economy of the Borders."
John Campbell, the company chairman.

According to the Scotsman, Glenrath Farms is run by the Campbell family, who started a small poultry enterprise more than 40 years ago after moving to the Borders from Argyll. The company, which sells in excess of 1.3 million eggs each day to a range of supermarkets including Tesco and Asda, is the largest agricultural employer in the Borders with a staff of over 200. In addition Glenrath is reckoned to use at least 50 per cent of the wheat grown in the Borders.

John Campbell, the company chairman, is clearly delighted to have finally been granted planning permission. However, he still feels that he was very close to becoming involved in a similar situation to Donald Trump and his plans to develop a new golf course and holiday complex north of Aberdeen.

Campbell said: "Obviously we welcome the Scottish Government's decision not to call in our planning application, but it is still disappointing that it has taken over three months to reach this stage. We are a local company, employing a considerable number of staff and have always thought that we contribute a great deal to the fragile economy of the Borders."

The Glenrath operation, which includes sites throughout the Lothians and Borders, has expanded massively in recent years. However, there is widespread opposition to this latest development.

Doreen Graham of the local action group, which has raised a considerable sum of cash to fight its case, said: "We are very worried about this and feel that a lot of issues have not been adequately considered. We have an eminent retired scientist on our group and have commissioned a report on the longer-term effects of such a massive project.

"For a start, there are two rights of way through the site and there are concerns over the water supply to Edinburgh."

Graham pointed out that the pipeline from the Talla reservoir, one of the largest sources of water for Edinburgh, passes through the site and suggests there are the potential pollution risks.

She added: "In addition, a large number of migratory birds, mostly greylag geese, come here in the winter months and that poses the risk of a major outbreak of avian flu and a threat to the human population. This is no small-scale operation, with each of the proposed sheds being almost a tenth of a mile in length housing up to 40,000 birds each. I don't think that can be described as free-range.

View the Scotsman story by clicking here.

5m Editor