The expansion of an intensive poultry farm has been given the go-ahead.

Three more chicken sheds are to be added to the existing six already in operation at Meadowland farm in Sleap, near Harmer Hill, bringing the total number of birds at the site up from 318,000 to 460,500.

A meeting of Shropshire Council’s northern planning committee on Tuesday (March 7) heard there were concerns from the parish council and the owners of a nearby farm over the expected increase in lorry traffic and odour.

However councillors voted to approve the scheme, saying it was important to support local farming.

An objection letter from Myddle, Broughton and Harmer Hill Parish Council said the expansion “will further increase the odour to the detriment of those living or active in the area”.

Planning officer Richard Denison told the committee that the plans included air scrubber units to be added to the three new sheds, along with one of the existing sheds, to mitigate the odour impact. The other five existing sheds were already fitted with scrubbers, he added.


Parish councillors were also concerned that the local road network could not cope with the extra lorry traffic.

The addition of the three new sheds will see the number of HGV movements to and from the farm increase from 1,710 per year to 2,460, but highways officers had not objected to the plans.

Councillor Vince Hunt said: “The only two concerns raised by the parish council were transport and odour. I know this has the inclusion of ammonia scrubbers which are also being retro fitted to another building, so hopefully the problem will be substantially alleviated if not disappear altogether.”

The committee heard there had also been an anonymous letter raising concerns about animal welfare.

Councillor David Vasmer said: “I have concerns about the increasing concentration of chicken sheds throughout the county.”

Councillor Mike Isherwood added: “I also think it’s worth acknowledging the anonymous objector’s point about animal welfare, they are very valid concerns but obviously not within the remit of this committee.”

Members unanimously voted to grant permission.