Farm Ireland

Sunday 25 March 2018

British super dairy farm plans shelved due to objections

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Plans for the biggest dairy farm in Britain and western Europe have been shelved by the company behind the proposal.

Nocton Dairies has decided to withdrawn its application for an 8,100 cow herd at Nocton Heath, Lincolnshire.

It is understood that environmental concerns, slurry management and smell at the site are at the centre of the move.

A statement issued by the company said it would undertake more surveys and reports, with a view towards resubmitting a new planning application in the near future.

"We have listened and responded to all of the comments we have received from anyone who has taken the time to question and to understand the dairy," said the company.

"It is a huge, innovative and in many ways counter-intuitive project. The technical issues involved will take more time to address than we have available to meet the requirements of the planning authority," it continued.

"We will therefore be seeking to undertake more surveys and detailed reports with a view towards resubmitting a new planning application in the near future."

The ambitious plan, driven by a trio of farmers, provoked a raft of objections from environmental and animal welfare groups.

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However, Nocton Dairies have insisted that large dairies are the future for milk production.

"As dairy farmers we have no doubt that dairies like ours represent an economically viable, environmentally sustainable and ethically imperative future for the British dairy industry," the company said.

"We know this by going back to first principles -- we will simply do whatever is best for the cows."

Irish Independent