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Concerns Raised over Egg Farm Expansion

by 5m Editor
1 September 2011, at 8:37am

WALES, UK - A local councillor has raised concerns about the expansion on an egg farm in Kittle.

A Gower councillor says she has alerted Swansea's enforcement department about a poultry firm's plan to expand its operations, reports South Wales Evening Post.

Margaret Smith, ward member for Pennard, said she wanted to ensure the farm's operators, Stonegate, applied to the council to alter a planning condition before increasing the number of egg-laying hens at Kittle Hill Farm, Kittle.

There is no suggestion that Stonegate, which is investing £7 million at the site and guaranteeing jobs in the process, has done anything wrong.

Last year, it received planning permission to replace five buildings with three egg houses – two measuring 104 metres by 20 metres by 13.2 metres – and a packaging shed. The council said the total number of hens should not exceed 295,680 – in line with its operating permit – for highway safety reasons.

Stonegate has subsequently been granted a permit variation by Environment Agency Wales to house up to 400,000 hens at the site. Stonegate farms director, Chris Brenton, said the plan was to have 388,080 hens there in the coming weeks, and that the company was dealing with the highway matter.

Mrs Smith said: "They have got to come to us (Swansea Council) to increase the number of birds as we have given them planning permission for 295,680 from a road safety point of view."

She said the egg farm had grown considerably over the years but had also provided jobs.

According to Stonegate's application for the new egg houses and packaging shed in 2009, the egg farm will employ 42 full and part-time staff if given planning permission, up from 26. Mr Brenton said a more efficient use of lorries would result in fewer of them entering and exiting the site, despite many thousand more hens to service.