Appeal Fails to Overturn Decision by Stratford and Avon DC
1. Summers Poultry Products of Cank Farm in Tamworth in Arden, Warks, has sought unsuccessfully to overturn a decision by Stratford-upon-Avon District Council against a development to extend the firm’s premises. An inspector for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has rejected the firm’s appeal and agreed with the local authority that the slaughterhouse extension and other alterations in the Green Belt should not go ahead.
2. John Summers, the firm’s managing director, said that the chiller unit and holding pen area were built to strict DEFRA and FSA (Food Standards Agency) regulations. He urged that the buildings were essential; otherwise the company would be forced to shut down the slaughterhouse and 96 people would face losing their jobs.
3. Summers processes about 100,000 chickens a week; it is believed to spend £6.5million in the rural economy, using contractors and suppliers (the report in our hands fails to describe the period of this expenditure). In his report the inspector said he had considered the impact of the proposed extension upon the openness of the Green Belt and if it would have “a harmful visual impact.”
4. The inspector accepted that the proposed extensions would enable the slaughterhouse to meet current regulations for the foreseeable future, preserve jobs and maintain existing trade with local premises. He added that he had heard evidence that the slaughterhouse provided employment for some “20 village residents and 12 people from the surrounding area.” He said if the business closed, “the impact on local employment would be limited.”