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Proposed pig farm sparks fears over countryside

Villagers are up in arms over a proposed pig farm which they claim would be an eyesore in the rural landscape.

An application has been submitted to Amber Valley Borough Council for the erection of a livestock building to hold 500 pigs on land off Wirksworth Road, Idridgehay, by landowner Ian Jones, of Hulland Ward.

The building would measure 464.5 square metres and occupy land on an existing farm in the Ecclesbourne Valley.

John Wiltshire, a former farmer, who lives within a quarter of a mile of the proposed site, said: “He wants to put his pig farm away from where he lives.”

He said the applicant was granted permission to put up a grain store on his land last year, which John can see from his home, and the proposed pig farm is planned to be built next to it.

“I look at the existing grain store every day and think, ‘what an eyesore’,” he said.

“The grain store is an eyesore now and the pig farm will be even worse.”

A few years ago an application was made for a pig farm for 2,000 pigs on the site, which was rejected by the planning authority.

John fears if planning permission is granted for the latest application, the farmer may apply to expand the pig farm over time.

“It’s in the valley bottom it’s surrounded by an area of little lanes and footpaths,” he added. “It’s by the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, which draws crowds of people to go on the railway line.”

John, who has lived in Ashleyhay for 40 years, said he was also concerned about the potential smell from pig manure due to the proximity of the proposed farm from his home.

He said local people have identified the countryside as a priority in their neighbourhood plan.

The planning application states: “The proposed building will be used for the rearing and finishing of pigs on a straw based high welfare rearing system. The proposed system is not intensive.”

To view the application, visit the planning section of the Amber Valley Borough Council website, www.ambervalley.gov.uk, and search under reference ‘AVA/2013/1011’

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