Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire 'super dairy' plan sees cow numbers halved

A planning application for a controversial "super dairy" near Lincoln has been resubmitted - with the number of cows more than halved.

Critics condemned original plans for 8,100 cows at the site at Nocton Heath as the equivalent of battery farming. These were withdrawn in April.

The farmers resubmitting the scheme said they had listened to animal welfare and environmental concerns.

They said they had scaled back the plans to 3,770 cows.

'Sustainable model'

These cattle would have access to outdoor paddocks during good weather.

The new application, submitted to North Kesteven District Council, will be the subject of a 13-14 week consultation period.

Peter Willes, who farms in Devon and is one of those behind the scheme, said if the farm was successful and it could demonstrate the system worked, they would consider expanding it to the levels of the original plans.

He said there would be a vet on site 24 hours a day and the "carbon footprint" of the milk would be much lower than a conventional dairy farm because the animal feed would be grown locally.

His business partner, David Barnes, who farms in Lancashire, said: "We're very conscious of concerns about water, public health, smell, traffic and welfare and need to prove that this farming model is sustainable in that particular location."

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