Farm Ireland

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Plans for 3,770-cow British 'super dairy' are shelved by proponents

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Plans for Britain's biggest dairy farm have been shelved for the second time in less than 12 months.

The Nocton Dairies' plan to build a 3,770-cow dairy farm at Nocton Heath, Lincolnshire, was withdrawn by the two farmers behind the project, David Barnes from Lancashire, and Peter Willes from Devon.

Their decision to abandon the plan was made after the Environmental Agency objected to the lack of information about the risks of building the dairy farm and spreading of anaerobic digestate on the site, which contains an underground aquifer.

The Nocton Dairies farm first hit the headlines in December 2009 when the farmers submitted plans for an 8,100-cow dairy unit. However, the so-called 'super dairy' met with strident opposition from locals and animal welfare groups. This plan was withdrawn in April 2010, and replaced by a scaled-down plan in December 2010.

Announcing its decision to withdraw this most recent project from the planning process on Wednesday, Nocton Dairies warned the dairy industry to stand up to those who would twist the facts about animal welfare, and highlight lack of investment as the issue, not scale or type of system.

"If our industry does not tell the public the facts and open its doors to show how we are great at farming in many different ways, then misinformed single interest pressure groups will fill the void with untruths, to the eventual detriment of all," the company said in a statement.

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