Foston pig farm permit rejected by Environment Agency

Pigs on farm Image copyright bbc
Image caption More than 34,000 people signed a petition against the pig farm in Foston

A project to build a pig farm for 24,500 animals is in jeopardy after the Environment Agency said the scheme would "offend human senses".

Over 34,000 people signed a petition against the farm in Foston, Derbyshire.

The agency said the project would have resulted in "significant pollution due to odour".

Midland Pig Producers, which lodged the plan in 2011, said it was pleased a decision had "finally" been made but it was "not the end of the matter".

The proposal included an anaerobic digester and a biogas combustion plant for treatment of manure and slurry at the site, which would have been situated yards from Foston Hall women's prison.

Celebrity backing

However, the Environment Agency said it was not satisfied activities could be undertaken "without resulting in significant pollution of the environment due to odour which will result in offence to human senses".

Last year, the Soil Association said it had concerns for the health of prisoners at Foston Hall and villagers in Scropton.

Residents have raised concerns about noise, smell and treatment of the pigs. Some marched through Derby in protest in 2011.

Image caption Protesters marched in Derby in 2011, when the pig farm plans were submitted

Celebrities including The Wire actor Dominic West and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have joined the campaign against the farm.

A spokesperson for Midland Pig Producers said: "While not wishing to second-guess any decision by any other body, it seems inevitable that this outcome will provide others with the reason to refuse any application connected with our plans.

"However, now that we have an actual decision, we can move forward. This is not the end of the matter, but the beginning of the second stage."

Image copyright Midland Pig Producers
Image caption Midland Pig Producers wanted to build the farm on land next to Foston Hall women's prison

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