Most people in Burghwallis and the surrounding area are now aware of the significant opposition to the application to build an intensive pig rearing unit next to Squirrel Wood.
Apart from the distressing nature of this type of pig rearing, now banned in many countries, the ecological damage from such a unit features significantly in the 890 objections raised to the planning application.
The intention to site the unit in the “Open Space” of Burghwallis Park would contravene several stipulations embedded in the Burghwallis Neighbourhood Plan. This document now forms a key element of the DMBC planning strategy designed to protect and project the wishes of the residents of Burghwallis to maintain the environment of the village.
The pig rearing unit would also create an intensive impact on the environment that could lead to the abandonment of the Scouting facility at Squirrel Wood. This well established facility is crucial to the concept of the scouting movement in its association with the engagement of young and juvenile children to life outdoors.
Access to the proposed pig unit would see a significant number of HGV movements along The Abbe’s Walk. This single track was never built to handle HGV’s. Passing would create a nightmare. Already the DMBC fly tipping collection team in their small pickup cannot drive onto the soft verge for fear of sinking into the ground and potentially tipping into the brook running the length of The Abbe’s Walk.
The closing date for objections is set for early August 2019. Outstanding objections need to be sent to the DMBC planning Department or registered online at DMBC. Planning application 19/00651/FUL The application will then be reviewed by the council planning committee. If it is rejected the applicant has the right to appeal, and this is when things get a little hairy.
The appeal is reviewed by the planning arbitration facility based in Bristol, with potential scant knowledge of local conditions. It is also expensive as the big boys come out to play. Hiring a barrister is considerably more expensive than a barista and arguably less palatable. It has been estimated that the legal cost to the village could be circa £40,000.
A war chest is currently being amassed. Starting with a contribution from the Parish Council, and continuing with a fund raising event at the Burghwallis pub this Saturday from 7pm, to cover the costs of the immediate opposition campaign, there is also a request for people to pledge financial support should an appeal be required. If you wish to support this activity, please see the new dedicated website http://www.stopthepigfarm.com and give an indication of the value you could donate. Please note this is a pledge, no money needs to be transferred at this stage, but it would give the volunteer action group an indication of the financial reserve that could be available if needed.