Family farm pleads for 155,000 poultry unit in Gloucestershire village to be granted amid opposition

The farming family has issued a warning in a letter to parish councillor, who oppose the plans
The farming family has issued a warning in a letter to parish councillor, who oppose the plans

A farming family behind the plan to build 155,000-capacity poultry units in Gloucestershire has said their business could die if their permission is not granted due to public opposition.

Benjamin Troughton has applied for permission to build three new poultry units for up to 155,000 birds, feed bins, a new access road and landscaping in The Leigh, near Tewkesbury.

The application has led to some residents expressing fears about the smell and about lorry traffic coming in and out of the farm.

While some people have supported the plans, dozens more have objected and the parish council has also come out against them.

Now the Troughton family has issued its warning in a letter to parish councillors.

It said: "If this business is not allowed to grow and diversify, it could well mean that yet another family farm dies and is replaced by a business which does not have any vested interest in the well-being of the village.

"It is important to bear in mind that the houses nearest to the proposed site belong to the farm."

Long history

The letter said the family had a long history in the village and had created jobs for residents.

It said: "We have been proud parishioners here in The Leigh for over 100 years, since 1895.

"We contribute to the social diversity as one of the last active businesses in an otherwise dwindling rural sector.

"We have a long standing history of employing young people in the village, providing them with often much needed stability and skills. Even now we are part of a training apprenticeship scheme, encouraging young people within the agricultural sector.

"This planning application for the poultry unit is a bid to secure the future of the family farm for generations to come as well as providing food security for the country and direct employment in a shrinking rural economy."

The application was submitted in 2015 but the borough council still says it can not say when it will consider it.