Critics oppose 'massive' pig farm in south Derbyshire

Image caption The site would be able to house 2,500 sows and 20,000 piglets

Protest groups are opposing an intensive pig farming and bio-gas plant in rural Derbyshire that could produce up to 1,000 piglets a week.

Midlands Pigs Producers said its premises in Foston would have 2,500 sows and 20,000 piglets in its indoor industrial unit.

Critics said that the only time the pigs would see the outside world would be on their way to slaughter.

South Derbyshire Council will consider whether to approve the plans in August.

The firm said the plans would include a bio-gas plant on the site using animal waste to produce electricity.

MPP said no smell would come from the unit as it would be contained within the bio-gas plant, adding that the firm would have the highest standards of animal welfare.

The firm said: "If planning permission is granted, the site will inextricably link agriculture and environmentally-friendly power generation in a move that will bring further prosperity to the rural economy in the area."

'Green banner'

However, local resident James Davies said: "They are going to be bringing in offal and abattoir waste from all over the country - as far afield as Bradford.

"I think it is a power station hiding behind a green banner."

Protestor Sue Weston, who lives next door to proposed 30-acre site, said she was concerned about the noise and smell that would come from such a massive site.

However, MPP managing director Martin Barker said: "There will be three systems in place to ensure that all the gasses (which would cause smells) are retained for the bio-gas plant.

"If one system should fail, the other two will still work preventing the ammonia and gasses escaping into the atmosphere."

MPP is one of the largest pig production companies in the UK, producing more than 100,000 pigs each year. It controls 30 farms in eight counties and employs more than 150 people.

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