Search

Airbase home to different flyers

PUBLISHED: 17:24 14 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:50 03 March 2010

AN EXPANDING company has created new jobs and provided a new use for hardened shelters which once housed some of America's most advanced fighter planes.

AN EXPANDING company has created new jobs and provided a new use for hardened shelters which once housed some of America's most advanced fighter planes.

A total of 18 shelters at the redundant Bentwaters air base, near Woodbridge, are now home to up to 72,000 Gressingham ducks being reared in free-range production by Green Label Farms, of Debach.

The company is employing three extra staff to work at Bentwaters and six more at Debach but it has still not been given final approval by Suffolk Coastal District Council for the scheme.

The council has been taking legal advice and a group of councillors accompanied by planning officers has visited Bentwaters to investigate the duck production. The council is concerned that the production started without prior planning permission and says that a legal agreement attached to the site states any new use for the shelters requires permission.

However, agents acting for the company have said that under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, planning control was not required for land and associated buildings used for agriculture.

The issues were reported to a council committee in September but they are not a top priority because the council is waiting to receive an environmental management plan and a revised master plan from the Kemball family.

Bob Chamberlain, the council's assistant director of planning and leisure, said: "We have had no adverse comments from environmental health staff or the Environment Agency so we do not see there being any immediate rush to resolve the matter.

''We know that there are some individuals and organisations who are concerned about duck rearing and I have had one or two phone calls from them and I have told them what we have seen.

''To the best of my knowledge there are no local concerns of pollution, nobody is living in the close proximity, and there is no real harm with the activities.''

Green Label director Geoffrey Buchanan said: ''The council has said they are basically happy with what they have seen. We are pleased that they came out to see what we are doing so there is no misconception about what is happening."

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists