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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 April 2006, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Charity joins poultry farm battle
Countryside campaigners have joined the fight against plans to build a huge poultry farm to house 500,000 chickens.

The Stukeleys and Brampton Parish Councils in Cambs have recommended refusing the proposal for 12 chicken sheds at Lodge Farm at Little Stukeley.

Now the charity Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has lodged an objection supporting local residents.

Gareth Ridewood Chairman of CPRE in Huntingdonshire said the buildings would blight the local landscape.

'Pollution hazard'

"The proposed development is massive, we're talking about something the size of half a dozen football pitches.

"Sprawling industrial buildings sited on a hill in rolling countryside would blight the local landscape, as well as posing as a possible pollution hazard to Huntingdon, The Stukeleys and Brampton."

The smell would invade our homes and gardens and the stench will kill the use of the footpaths and bridal ways
Margaret Helme

Local residents formed an Action Group earlier this year.

Local farmer Margaret Helme is spearheading the residents' campaign.

Mrs Helme, who owns next door Waterloo Farm said: "In this so-called democratic society it cannot be the right to impose such misery on the community and the environment.

"The smell would invade our homes and gardens and the stench will kill the use of the footpaths and bridleways."

Parish Councillors also say the sheer size and scale of the development would be unacceptable in such a sensitive location on rising ground highly visible from the A1 and A14.

They are concerned about pollutants entering the water system and affecting sites of special scientific interest downstream, including the Portholme Meadow, the UK's largest surviving traditionally-managed meadow.

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