Fertiliser plant 'not fit for country'

FARMER John Clarke's hopes of creating an animal waste operation at his Suffolk farm to create liquid and dried fertilizer is an industrial activity and wholly inappropriate for the countryside, a public inquiry has heard.

FARMER John Clarke's hopes of creating an animal waste operation at his Suffolk farm to create liquid and dried fertilizer is an industrial activity and wholly inappropriate for the countryside, a public inquiry has heard.

A three day inquiry opened yesterday as Mr Clarke attempts to overturn a council decision to stop his plans at Rookery Farm in Drinkstone, near Bury St Edmunds.

The inquiry comes after Mid Suffolk District Council rejected his change of use planning application.

The inquiry at Needham Market chamber, was packed with local people who came to hear the case about the farm, at the centre of the so called "Woolpit whiff'' which has affected villagers' lives for years.


You may also want to watch:


David Lamming, for the council, said the site's history was of some importance.

"It was a large pig farm, a pig fattening unit and thus in agricultural use," he told the hearing.

Most Read

"There has been a very long term odour nuisance problem from the activities at Rookery Farm. That led the council to High Court injunction proceedings and undertakings by Mr Clarke and to an admitted breach by Mr Clarke, in proceedings two years ago.

"The plant currently on site was granted planning permission with a view to trying to deal with the problem of nuisance at a time when Rookery Farm was still a thriving pig business and in agricultural use.

He added: "The present appeal application is not for agricultural use, but for an industrial use on the site, hence the need for planning permission. That is a wholly inappropriate use in a countryside location.

"The strength of objection to that use in that location was clearly born out by parish council objections and the number of people here. The site is only accessed by narrow, rural roads not suitable for HGVs which are now part and parcel of the operation at this site."

Inspector Peter Watson said there were a number of key issues, including the effect on local people's lives particularly from smells, the environment and road safety, the effect on the Drinkstone Mills conservation area and listed buildings in that area and whether the development is in accordance with local policies.

The inquiry continues today.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus