Plans to build a large livestock building on the former Manby Airfield, alongside a cattle rearing unit, have been passed - despite major concerns from residents, parish councils and animal welfare organisations.
The agricultural building, which would be 60 metres long and 50 metres wide, will be based on the south-west of the former airfield after it was passed by East Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday.
The building will be used as a collection area for animals in connection with the cattle ‘feedlot’ to the east - which is already in use, and was subject to a separate application - and it will contain five cattle holding pens, five separation bays, and a feed store.
The application related to the erection of windbreaks comprising of earth banks with straw bales on top, the formation of two surface water lagoons, the construction of a feed stock clamp and six lighting columns.
Animal welfare groups, including the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming, submitted their concerns to ELDC - with the latter putting forward a petition of 19,000 signatures objecting to cattle feed lots in principle.
However, planning chief Chris Panton reminded councillors: “Animal husbandry is not a planning matter.”
Agent for the developers, Lewis Smith, later claimed that works had been carried out to improve the welfare of cattle, and that their operation ‘meets, and in some circumstances exceeds’ the required animal welfare standards.
Mr Smith added that ELDC’s Environmental Health department had ‘no technical objections’ to the proposals, and ‘no substantiated complaints’ had been received since the operation began in 2013.
Coun Sandra Harrison, speaking on behalf of Carlton Parish Council, objected to the proposals and suggested two conditions - which were adopted by the planning committee when they approved the plans.
The first condition stated that access to the site should be via the B1200 entrance only, and not via Hungry Hill Lane to the south of the former airfield, and the second condition stated that the site should be cleared of disposible materials after the farming unit ceases operation.
The committee also adopted two conditions from Coun Terry Knowles, speaking on behalf of Grimoldby and Manby Parish Council, who suggested that a hard surface and wheel-washing facility should be installed at the site entrance, and that further safety measures around the lagoons should be considered.