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DM/17/00919/FPA | Construction of 2no. pig finishing buildings for about 4000 pigs and 5no. feed silos. Retention of extension to existing agricultural building at Hill House Farm to house pigs. Amended description and plan with amended siting, engineering works and landscaping with amended and updated environmental statements to include cumulative impact with 1000 pigs at Hill House Farm. | Biggin Farm New Brancepeth Durham DH7 7HQ
  • Total Consulted: 501
  • Comments Received: 179
  • Objections: 177
  • Supporting: 0
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Addisons Chartered Surveyors F.a.o Richard Henderson 5 South Street Crook Co Durham DL15 8NE (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 26 Feb 2018

Please see Documents tab for copy of comment

Mr Peter COOK 4 Hareholme Court New Brancepeth Durham DH7 7HN (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sat 24 Feb 2018

Two quotes from the Durham County Council website:
(1) Conservation of biodiversity is vital in our response to climate change and in the delivery of key ecosystem services such as food, flood management, pollination and provision of clean air and water.
(2) It is an offence to kill, injure, or take, any bat. It is also an offence to interfere with places used by bats for shelter or protection, or to intentionally disturb bats occupying such places. The presence of bats or bat roosts is not always obvious and it is recommended that you consult a qualified bat surveyor.
I ask our councillors to remember that climate change is threatened chiefly by greenhouse gases, of which industrial livestock units are among the worst sources. Clean air surely implies absence of foul smells, of which those of us who use public footpaths on and around Biggin and Hill House Farms have already complained, even though the piggery is not yet fully functional. Clean water surely includes natural waterways like the Deerness river, cleaned at public expense, whose contamination by slurry from 5,000 pigs would probably cause algal bloom and poison not only fish but all natural inhabitants of the Deerness wildlife corridor. Bats (pollinators too!) will certainly have been disturbed by lorries passing over the culvert that they have long been known to occupy below the entrance to Biggin Farm: if a bat surveyor was consulted, then their presence was wilfully ignored.
The people of County Durham who live in or visit the Deerness Valley are entitled to expect their councillors to keep these promises, and to put the interests of County Durham residents before the commercial interests of a Yorkshire farmer who will never live here.

Comment submitted date: Wed 01 Nov 2017

I wish to sustain objections already made to the first application, which are not addressed by technical calculations that appear to offer assurances, such as that emissions of ammonia would not exceed toxic levels. Evidence presented at the European Respiratory Society Congress last month suggests that very low levels of ammonia, when combined with other pollutants, may endanger human health as well as the natural environment and the ozone layer. In light of these and many other concerns, I trust our Councillors will not set aside the overwhelmingly negative perceptions of the residents whom they represent in favour of a non-resident with enough money to rent a piece of the valley we inhabit.

Comment submitted date: Fri 11 Aug 2017

Notwithstanding the proposed alternative siting, this second application to house pigs at Biggin Farm does not address the principal concerns of local residents. Comments made during the public consultation on the first application should therefore be taken into account.
Our County Council, in its Sustainable Community Strategy, promised us a cleaner, greener County Durham, where people want to live and visit because of the natural environment. But in this planning application, we are threatened with industrial pig-rearing on a massive scale, at least 4,000 pigs at any time. So slurry draining into Deerness river will cause algal bloom and poison fish, birds, bats and other wildlife in the Deerness wildlife corridor. The recent discovery of a colony of long-eared bats (protected by law) in a culvert adjoining Esh Wood makes this threat particularly acute.
Our County Council also claims that it has ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions and is known for its international leadership on climate change mitigation. But industrial livestock units are among the worst sources of greenhouse gas emissions, aggravating climate change for all of us. To make this situation even worse, the planning application acknowledges that ammonia levels will exceed the critical load for lichens which are integral to tree health, creating a risk of poisoning the nearby ancient woodland (Ragpath and Esh Woods) too.
Our County Council also promises to work for better human health. But people living around Deerness Valley and those who want to walk or cycle here will be subjected to the stink of slurry from thousands of pigs, spread all over this side of the valley. Not just the stink: toxic gases released by slurry (especially ammonia and hydrogen sulphide), organic dusts, moulds and other airborne microbes including MRSA are known to cause diseases including asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia in people (especially children) living up to 1.5 miles downwind of intensive pig-feeding units. That means our prevailing winds put residents around the Deerness Valley, especially in Hareholme, New Brancepeth, Deerness View and Ushaw Moor, in danger. A high proportion of County Durham residents of all ages have lung diseases like asthma and COPD and will be especially susceptible to these effects.
Pending a decision on the application to bring pigs to Biggin Farm, we now find that 1,000 pigs have already been housed in converted buildings at the adjoining Hill House Farm. Neighbours have reported huge articulated lorries (far too large to drive safely on roads that we also use to travel to and from our homes) and unpleasant smells - even though this population is only a quarter of that proposed for Biggin Farm, and Hill House Farm is considerably further away from us! This unexpected action by the farmer, who knows perfectly well about the local residents' opposition, makes it impossible for us to continue discussions with him in good faith.
If our County Council approves this planning application, it will break its promises to us, make a nonsense of its Sustainable Community Strategy and fail in its legal obligation to protect the hundreds of people who live here. And for what? County Durham is known for traditional farming that cherishes the environment, not for factory farming which would change completely the character of the land. The people of County Durham need to hold the Council to its promises, for the sake of current and future generations of residents.

Comment submitted date: Thu 20 Apr 2017

GROUND AND RIVER CONTAMINATION AND NATURE CONSERVATION
Our County Council, in its Sustainable Community Strategy, promised us a cleaner, greener County Durham, where people want to live and visit because of the natural environment. But in this planning application, we are threatened with industrial pig-rearing on a massive scale, 4,000 pigs at any time. So slurry draining into Deerness river, only recently cleaned at great public expense to bring fish back, will cause algal bloom and poison not only fish but also birds, bats and other creatures in the Deerness wildlife corridor. Local proliferation of insects, especially flies and mites, and pests, especially rats, can also be expected when slurry is spread.
LOSS OF TREES
Our County Council also claims that it has ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions and is known for its international leadership on climate change mitigation. But industrial livestock units are among the worst sources of greenhouse gas emissions, aggravating climate change for all of us. To make this effect even worse, the planning application acknowledges that ammonia levels will exceed the critical load for lichens, which are integral to tree health (1), at Ragpath Wood, an ancient woodland and Site of Geological Importance managed by the Woodland Trust.
SMELLS
Our County Council also promises to promote better human health. But the air we breathe cannot fail to be contaminated by the stench of pigs. Computer modelling is fraught with uncertainty (2), but this planning application uses a computer model that assumes a maximum wind speed of 6.4 miles/hour (very moderate for Hareholme!) to claim that wind dispersal of odours from stacks on the pig-rearing houses will make those odours inoffensive. But at least twice a year, for days or weeks on end, the stink will not come mainly from stacks on the pig-rearing houses, but from slurry spread on farmland surrounding Hareholme Court. Surface water is absorbed poorly here and Hareholme Court lies downhill from most of that land. Local experience is that smells due to slurry persist for many days, even when small quantities are spread and even at distances well over 400m. Given the prevailing westerly winds and increasingly warm summers, residents throughout Deerness Valley (including Hareholme, New Brancepeth, Deerness View and Ushaw Moor villages), people who come here to walk or ride on what remains of our public rights of way and those who come to Lionmouth to find peace will be subjected to odour, dust and insects from the piggery.
AIRBORNE HAZARDS
Our health may suffer, not only because of the stink. Toxic precursor gases released by intensive livestock units (especially ammonia, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and nitrogen oxides), organic dusts, moulds and other airborne microbes including MRSA can cause diseases including asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia, in people (especially children) living downwind of intensive pig-rearing units. These effects of gases are additive or multiplicative and may accumulate over time, so they can impair lung function in people living 1 miles downwind of intensive livestock units, even when ammonia levels are far below recommended limits (3-12). That means our prevailing winds put families throughout Deerness Valley in danger. A high proportion of County Durham people have lung diseases like asthma and COPD and will be especially susceptible to these effects.
NOISE AND DISTURBANCE
Our health may also be affected by noise. The noise of the proposed extractor fans is said to be low but they will operate day and night and are sure to be audible from Hareholme Court.
SUMMARY
If our County Council approves this planning application, it will break its promises to us, make a nonsense of its Sustainable Community Strategy and fail in its legal obligation to protect the hundreds of people who live here. And for what? County Durham has a long tradition of small-scale farming that cherishes the environment, not factory farming which would change completely the character of the land. The people in this part of County Durham need our Council to keep its promises, for the sake of current and future generations.
REFERENCES
(1) Kirby et al. Long-term ecological changes in British woodland. English Nature Research Report 653 2005
(2) Bunton et al. Monitoring and modeling of emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations: overview of methods. Environ Health Perspect 2007.
(3) Maassen et al. Livestock farming and the health of local residents. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Netherlands 2016
(4) Smit et al. Increased risk of pneumonia in residents living near poultry farms: does the upper microbiota play a role? Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2016.
(5) Brunekreef et al. Reducing the health impact of airborne particles - the role of ammonia emissions from agriculture. Lancet Resp Med 2015.
(6) Loftus et al. Regional PM2.5 and asthma morbidity in an agricultural community: a panel study. Environ Research 2015.
(7) Loftus et al. Ambient ammonia exposures in an agricultural community and pediatric asthma morbidity. Epidemiology 2015.
(8) Schinasi et al. Air pollution, lung function, and physical symptoms in communities near concentrated swine feeding operations. Epidemiology 2011.
(9) Gilchrist et al. The potential role of concentrated animal feeding operations in infectious disease epidemics and antibiotic resistance. Environ Health Perspect 2007.
(10) Heederik et al. Health effects of airborne exposures from concentrated animal feeding operations. Environ Health Perspect 2007.
(11) Radon et al. Environmental exposure to confined animal feeding operations and respiratory health of neighboring residents. Epidemiology 2007.
(12) Von Essen et al. The respiratory inflammatory response to the swine confinement building environment. University of Nebraska 2001

Esh Leaves WI Esh Durham (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 19 Feb 2018

Please see Documents tab for copy of comment

Mr Richard Phelan 3 Hareholme Court New Brancepeth Durham DH7 7HN (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 16 Feb 2018

This application will not enhance our environment in any way. The valley has an abundance of footpaths and bridleways that create a wonderful rural feel within a few miles of many people. This pig factory will seriously harm the views and offer only obnoxious smells 168 days a year. I walk and ride along these paths and feel that I will be denied benefits I previously gained.

Comment submitted date: Fri 16 Feb 2018

I am increasingly concerned by the risks and damage that the additional traffic that will be generated by these pig units. This week (w/c 11/2) the road has been icy for most of the week, and I like most of us who live on the lane Biggin farm is located on are used to this. I know that the road is often hazardous, with very soft and deeply eroded verges. Some of the most dangerous places with steep slopes and blind corners are so narrow it is impossible to pass wide vehicles. This week I met a lorry heading towards the farm at approx 07.00 hrs, the temperature according to my car was -2 and the road was covered in ice where run off from fields had frozen. Had we met at the narrowest point, just below the entrance to Eshwood hall, where the ice was also covering approx 200m of road it is likely we would have struggled to stop, certainly could not have passed each other and would not have been able to safely reverse. The road conditions this week are not unusual and they have been similar most days since Christmas. I believe any consideration of this planning application without ensuring the road is safe would be reckless.

Comment submitted date: Fri 16 Feb 2018

The construction of these buildings represent a signicant harm to our valley. They are a factory sized blot on our landscape not an enhancement to the rural environment. To approve this would surely breach the planners responsibility to ensure that the local environment is conserved and enhanced. These massive units do not fit in with the current agricultural buildings that dot our pretty valley and make no positive contribution to our environment or our enjoyment of our valley. It should also be noted that the largest building in the valley is Ushaw college and that views from the college will be tainted by these pig factories that will also make no contribution to the economy of Deerness valley or to its community, Ushaw college on the other hand is increasingly becoming a valuable part of both the economy and the community. The pig factory can only serve to damage this contribution.

Comment submitted date: Sat 13 May 2017

I object to this application which if allowed will contaminate and cause irreparable damage to Ragpath wood both visually and because of the toxic pollutants resulting from the presence of the pig finishing sheds.
This is a beautiful valley recovering well from the environmental deprivations of the coal industry and that is still striving to rebuild after years of devastating economic policy decisions by neglectful government. Whilst I would welcome mutually beneficial investment, this in any form wherever it was located represents nothing of the sort. I also find it objectionable that an absentee landlord cares so little for our community that she puts greed before all moral values and decency, making rents so expensive as to drive farmers down such anti social roads to make a living.
Ragpath wood is an irreplaceable habitat and the outpouring of noxious chemicals, fumes and pollutants regardless of controls in place will have a devastating impact, no control measure is 100% sure, and this is too valuable a place to risk.
The planning policy framework requires that applications are refused where development would result in the deterioration of habitats such as our Ragpath wood.
This is an irreplaceable resource to the local community and the location of these pig finishing units anywhere on Biggin farm puts Ragpath at risk.

Mrs Theresa Gluyas Eshwood Cottage Eshwood Estate New Brancepeth Durham DH7 7HG (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 15 Feb 2018

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Tue 13 Feb 2018

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Sat 10 Feb 2018

Here is a link to the Northern Echo which reports of the neighbours views on this application
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/opinion/columnists/mikeamos/mikeamos/15830293.Mike_Amos__Rural_residents_are_horrified_at_plans_for_a_pig_farm___they___re_not_finished_yet___/?ref=mac

Comment submitted date: Fri 06 Oct 2017

Once again the smell from Biggin Farm/Hill House Farm from the pigs that are already on the site is VERY strong. I do not have a unit of measurement but the smell is disgusting, both inside and outside the house. This is before the full quota of pigs has been established on site.
The smell seems to increase in the afternoon - is there some form of husbandry that is responsible for this?

I dread to think what the smell will be like when the combined odour from the pigs along with the slurry is spread on the fields that surround our home.




Comment submitted date: Sun 10 Sep 2017

Dear Sue,



The planning application is listed as a Schedule 1, which requires:

To ensure the completeness and quality of the Environmental Statement, the developer must ensure that it is prepared by competent experts. The Environmental Statement must be accompanied by a statement from the developer outlining the relevant expertise or qualifications of such experts.

In the new wildlife survey, upon which I wish to comment in a further message, the author mentions that he holds a bat handling license though no further information on his/her expertise.



I can not find such a statement in the application. Am I missing something?



Regards

Comment submitted date: Sun 23 Jul 2017

As we occupy the third nearest property to this application - in its new location - We were shocked to find that we have not received any information about the resubmission of the application. As the timing also coincides with school holidays, when many people will be on away

We must conclude that our '21 days' to reply will count from when we receive notice.

Comment submitted date: Mon 15 May 2017

I! am! writing! as! one! of! the! nearest! neighbours! to! the! property! referred! to! in! the! above! application! specifically! to! comment! on! the! advice! provided! by! Durham! Council's!highway!department!(dated!11th!April!2017).!
!
Firstly! Mr! Anderson! has! based! a! portion! of! his! comment! on! information! provided! by! W.! Salvin.! ! Salvin! is! the! land! agent! responsible! for! letting! the! properties!at!Biggin!and!Hill!House!farms.!As!such!he!stands!to!profit!personally! from! any! increase! in! revenue! at! the! properties! which! would! result! from! the! granting!of!planning!permission,!and!thus!has!a!direct!conflict!of!interest.!
!
The! previous! tenants! of! Biggin! farm! took! occasional! deliveries! (1L2! per! year)! of! timber! carried! on! HGVs.! The! last! of! these! took! place! shortly! before! they! left! the! farm! around! Christmas! 2015.! This! vehicle! was! heavy! enough! to! break! the! water! main! which! runs! under! the! farm! drive.! This! water! main! supplies! the! farm! and! the! properties! on! the! Eshwood! estate! where! I! live! and! we! were! left! without! a! water! supply! for! several! days.! Our! water! supply! will! not! stand! up! to! the! volume! of!HGV!movements!proposed!by!the!applicant.!!
! An!additional!concern!is!the!weight!limit!of!7.5t!which!applies!to!Broadgate!Road! (Unc!18.23!/!Unc!18.15).!This!is!signposted!just!outside!New!Brancepeth!(Picture! 1)! and! the! signpost! was! only! recently! erected! following! resurfacing! work.! The! weight! limit! was! presumably! imposed! to! protect! the! two! fragile! Victorian! culverts! (Picture! 2)! which! run! just! underneath! Broadgate! Road! between! New! Brancepeth!and!the!entrance!to!Biggin!farm.!The!residents!of!the!area!are!all!too! familiar! with! the! fact! that! the! Victorian! infrastructure! in! the! Deerness! valley! is! beginning! to! fail,! we! need! only! look! at! the! still! unresolved! question! of! the! Deerness!Bridge!on!the!C18!and!high!HGV!traffic!will!not!improve!matters.!!
!
Furthermore! the! location! of! these! culverts! is! at! a! low! point.! This! is! regularly! difficult! to! pass! in! the! winter! for! light! car! traffic.! I! vividly! remember! an! approx.! 7.5t! ! lorry! getting! stuck! down! there! a! few! years! ago.! How! are! regular! HGV! movements!going!to!cope!with!these!conditions?!!
!
Mr! Anderson! requires! that! the! applicants! provide! evidence! that! the! HGV! movements! will! not! damage! the! public! highway.! I! note! that! the! road! outside! the! farm! entrance! has! already! suffered! damage! from! the! works! carried! out! by! the! applicants!to!mettle!the!farm!access!track.!!
!
The! consultee! notes! that! the! route! via! New! Brancepeth! is! not! as! narrow! as! that! via! the! B6302! and! Broadgate! Road.! However,! the! farm! is! accessed! from! Broadgate! Road! which! the! council! and! police! closed! to! two! way! traffic! from! Fairfalls! Terrace! to! Broadgate! crossroads! when! the! Deerness! bridge! was! shut! due! to! safety! concerns.! The! reasons! given! (see! appended! letter! from! David! Battensby! dated! 6th! May! 2016)! were! that! increased! traffic! and! the! difficulty! normal! cars! were! encountering! passing! one! another! were! causing! accidents! and! damaging! the! verges! and! road! edges.! Why! now! does! the! council! consider! that! heavy! HGV! traffic! even! on! a! shorter! section! of! this! road! will! be! safe! for! other! road!users?!!
!
Concerning! the! rest! of! the! proposed! entry! route! New! Brancepeth! is! still! a! small! village,! having! narrow! access! roads! with! tight! corners,! not! to! mention! they're! mostly! full! of! parked! cars!! On! the! C18! between! Langley! Moor! and! New! Brancepeth!farm!tractors!are!only!just!passable!by!cars!travelling!in!the!opposite! direction.! Regular! heavy! HGV! traffic! is! likely! to! make! these! roads! downright! dangerous.!
!
Dr!Josef!Gluyas!
Eshwood!Cottage!
New!Brancepeth!
!
!
! Picture!1.!The!7.5t!weight!limit!signpost!on!Broadgate!Road.!!

!
!
Picture! 2.! One! of! the! two! fragile! Victorian! culverts! which! are! located! under!
Broadgate!Road.!!










Mr R Ascroft Farfalls House Fairfalls Terrace New Brancepeth Durham DH7 7HP (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 13 Feb 2018

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Wed 15 Nov 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Fri 10 Nov 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Mon 14 Aug 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Thu 03 Aug 2017

Objections detailed in separate document to be attached/submitted

Comment submitted date: Fri 28 Apr 2017

This is a second comment

Comment submitted date: Thu 27 Apr 2017

FAO
Ms Sue Hyde, Durham County Council Planning Committee, and all others concerned

Please reject the proposed plan for buildings to house pigs and associated feed silos, &c. at Biggin Farm. My objections are:

1) Impact on landscape and loss of amenity.

Unspoiled fragments in the post-industrial landscape of the Deerness valley are limited and are of high value for amenity for local communities. In Ragpath Wood and Biggin Farm a walker may enjoy a comparatively unspoiled and tranquil rural landscape. In spring when Bluebells and stitchwort are in flower in the adjacent woodland, the landscape is outstanding. Skylarks sing over the farmland which also hosts Grey Partridge and other wildlife once characteristic of agricultural land. A footpath goes through the proposed site and other footpaths and a bridleway pass nearby. The proposed pig units and silos would have a very detrimental effect on the experience of anyone walking by one of these routes. The mitigation measures proposed do not come close to addressing the impact, nor can they because of the scale of the development proposed.

2) Impact on wildlife

The Environmental Statement makes no mention of the impact on wildlife nor of any investigation thereof. Breeding birds, bats, numerous species of invertebrates, and the vegetation of the Ragpath Wood LWS are likely to be affected directly or indirectly by the development and by its emissions. No such proposal should be considered without a proper investigation and statement.

3) Water run-off

The change from the absorbent surface of agricultural field to sheds, silos and compacted ground for access, etc. will increase water run-off to the Deerness which will in turn increase flood risk downstream.

4) Airborne emissions

The proposed site is immediately adjacent to ancient woodland and the proposed mitigation measures are unlikely to achieve what is claimed in the Environmental Statement. (a) Airborne emissions will emerge from vents at over 6m from the ground, and will pass over any new planting for at least a decade (b) There is neither provision nor room for new planting between the proposed development and the ancient oak woodland extending south from Ragpath Wood onto Biggin Farm, no there is no mitigation for the impact of ammonia and Nitrogen deposition on this area, despite the fact that it is locally exceptional in quality.

5) Water-borne run-off

It is proposed that pig slurry will be spread onto the surrounding farmland. Over time there is a substantial risk of major pollution events if wet weather follows slurry dispersal. There may also be a health hazard.


6) Noise and Traffic

Myself and other villagers in New Brancepeth expect to be directly and adversely affected by noise from the additional traffic.

The public road west from New Brancepeth to Biggin Farm has repeatedly suffered damage from heavy traffic in the past. This can be seen in deterioration of the metalled edges, and in subsidence. The large increase in heavy traffic would cause much greater and more rapid deterioration in the road and its surface, causing greater risk to other road users, especially in winter and much greater, nuisance and cost in vehicle maintenance, and a substantial increase in the cost of road maintenance.


7) Human health

If the development succeeds, in addition to the workers on site, lorries carrying pigs to and from the farm will regularly be passing through New Brancepeth and other communities. There is a risk of disease transmission from pigs to people. A proper risk assessment is needed. Even if the risk is low for any one truck, this must be multiplied over the lifetime of the pig units. The occurrence of MRSA in pigs in Denmark shows that the disease risk to humans must be considered. Once antibiotic resistance occurs, it cannot be undone.

There are further issues with this development and I ask that the consultation period be further extended, both for proper wildlife and health assessments but also for further public comment given the strong public interest already shown.

Regards
R Ascroft

H W Leaver Hareholme House New Brancepeth Durham DH7 7HH (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 13 Feb 2018

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Tue 13 Feb 2018

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Fri 02 Feb 2018

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Thu 07 Dec 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Wed 06 Dec 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Wed 29 Nov 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Mon 30 Oct 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Wed 25 Oct 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Tue 15 Aug 2017

This is a second comment

Comment submitted date: Wed 12 Apr 2017

Please see Documents tab for copy of comment

Mr Steven Barella 24 Green Court Esh Durham DH7 9RY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 13 Feb 2018

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Tue 05 Dec 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Tue 26 Sep 2017

This is a further comment

Comment submitted date: Sat 29 Jul 2017

Objection to the application DM/17/00919/FPA
I write to strongly object to the above application. Having read the full application and planning policy; it clearly remains an unacceptable proposal.
EMP17 states that for Farm Diversification, where planning permission is required, that it will be granted provided that:
1. The proposal would not have an unacceptable adverse effect upon the amenity, character or appearance of the countryside.
2. The proposal would be of a suitable scale appropriate to its surroundings.
3. The proposal would have no unacceptable adverse effect on the amenity of occupiers of nearby or adjoining property.
The application fails against all of the above criteria and many other aspects of Durham City Local Planning Policy, some of which I've outlined below
Nature Conservation
E16 - The council will protect and enhance the nature conservation assets of the district.
It will require surveys of wildlife habitats
As far as possible it will avoid unacceptable harm to conservation interests. (FAILS)


The site is surrounded by an area identified in the Local Plan as an Area of High Landscape Value.

No ecological survey of Ragpath Wood or Esh Wood has been completed. Both of these are classed as ancient woodland! From the Ammonia report, receptors in both of these locations show critical emission rates beyond 50%. The Environment Agency states this may not be considered acceptable and the proposal should include further proposals to reduce emissions.

Legally protected species - Barn Owls, a variety of species of bat, grass snakes and European otters have all been identified within a range of 1.5km to the north of the site.
The Conservation of Habitats & Species regulations 2010 make it illegal to damage or destroy a resting place used by a European Protected Species.
These important habitats and conservation interests are clearly going to be exposed to unacceptable pollution levels.

E14 - In considering proposals affecting trees, the council will:
Not permit development which would result in the loss of ancient woodland.

3.62 Ancient woodland is continuous woodland cover since 1600 - rich in mature trees and has a diverse range of flora and fauna. They form habitats which cannot be recreated and attention will be given to ensure their special characteristics are maintained both through protection given by the policy and appropriate management. (FAIL)


In the tests run by the developer they did not use Environmental Agency emission rates for Ammonia and nitrogen deposition. The applicant adjusted the emission rate, reducing it by 20%. I note the Odour report states 'that towards the end of the growth cycle, odour production within pig housing increases rapidly and emission rates are considerably greater.' The purpose of the business is to bulk 30kg juvenile pigs to 105kg finished weight. Surely the emission rate should be increased rather than reduced! They also adjusted the assumed GFS meteorological data for ground roughness from 2.75m to 3m.

The effect of doing so understates both the levels and distribution of ammonia and nitrogen. The model should be re-run as ammonia levels and nitrogen deposition rates in Ragpath and Esh Wood are conveniently projected to be just below CRITICAL Levels.

Critical Levels are defined as: "concentrations of pollutants in the atmosphere above which direct adverse effects on receptors, such as human beings, plants, ecosystems or materials, may occur according to present knowledge" (UNECE).
Ancient woodland is classed as irreplaceable as it takes 400 years to establish. It is also highly sensitive to environmental change. The duty of the planning committee is to protect this.

E16 The council will seek to safeguard sites of nature conservation importance. Development which would be detrimental to nature conservation will not be permitted unless it is demonstrated:
1. The benefits from the development outweigh the nature conservation interest of the site AND
2. No alternative suitable sites for development in the county or region. (FAILS) The near negligible benefits of this proposal clearly do not outweigh the nature conservation interest.
High value landscapes are special as they are rare and need the utmost protection. This application should be nowhere near ancient woodland - according to my OS Map it is less than 450m away from Ragpath Wood. There will be hundreds of alternative sites in County Durham more suited and thousands across the wider region.

Wildlife Corridors & Watercourses
3.78 Rivers and woodlands along which wildlife can move and live are paramount in maintaining biodiversity in the district and in ensuring key habitats maintain the range of species. (FAILS)

U9
Developments which may directly affect watercourses will only be permitted provided that it:
1. Does not pollute the watercourse.
2. Does not adversely affect nature conservation interest.
3. It is properly assessed.
(FAILS)

3.79 The council will seek to protect the integrity of wildlife corridors taking into account the types of species which are found along their length. The Deerness River contains a number of species of national importance. European Otters are legally protected. Brown Trout and European Eels are listed within the National and Regional Communites Act 2006 and part of the Durham Biodiversity Action Plan.

Spreading slurry over 540 acres in March/ April as well as August/September has not been assessed from an environmental perspective. The impact of the development on the watercourses has not been carried out. This seems a fundamental planning consideration.

During the porosity test undertaken, the ground was confirmed as poorly draining. This is due to the site sitting on boulder clay. Consequently, during wetter months such as March/April surface runoff in this area will be high. Whilst a number of fields are flat, several are steeply sloping e.g. One field directly to the north of Ragpath Wood and one to the north of Hareholme court. Significant amounts of raw slurry are going to enter the Deerness River and Red Burn under this plan. The consequences of the pollution have not been properly assessed and will clearly adversely affect the watercourses and nature conservation interest.

Pollution
U5 Planning permission for the development will not be granted if the proposal:
1. Will have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the quality of the local environment.
2. Will not have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the amenity of nearby and adjoining land and property.
Paragraph 109: Planning should prevent new and existing development from contributing unacceptable soil, air, water or noise pollution.
Paragraph 110: The effects of pollution on health, the natural environment or general amenity and potential sensitivity of the area or development should be taken into account. (FAILS) The damage that will occur to Ragpath Wood (Ancient Woodland) and of Nature Conservation Importance, in terms of chemical pollution (ammonia and nitrogen deposition) is acknowledged by the applicant and is clearly unacceptable.
Esh Wood (Historic Parkland) with some parts of Nature Conservation importance will like Ragpath Wood be directly adjacent to mass slurry spreading. Given the chemical composition of the slurry and the sensitivity of these environments, biodiversity will be badly affected.
The River Deerness will also be badly affected. Huge investments of time, money and effort have gone into the restoration of the River in recent years by the Rivers Trust. Beneath Lionmouth Rural Centre, the banks of the river have been built up again and salmon passes have been added. This conservation work appeared on BBC Countryfile.
Clearly this will affect the quality of this environment.

Unacceptable air pollution will occur. The strength, duration and range of offensive odours from the spreading of the slurry needs assessing in full. There are also regular temperature inversions in this valley bottom during the colder months (including March) and the stench could last for a prolonged period.

The noise impact assessment is not fit for purpose as it has been carried out on the old proposed site 450m to the north.

The smell and environmental pollution from the development will clearly have an unacceptable adverse impact on neighbouring land and property as well as the local amenities.

U8A Development proposals will only be approved if they include satisfactory arrangements for disposing foul and surface water. (FAILS)
How much slurry will 4,000 medium to large pigs produce annually?
The disposal is only planned twice yearly over a four day period. No assessment has been done of the odour from spreading the slurry.
Spreading pig manure over 650 acres will create a horrendous smell over the entire valley. Anyone who has been past even the smallest of pig farms will know this.
There are a number of isolated properties in extremely close proximity to the fields to be spread with slurry. It will be truly horrendous for them.
Esh Winning (population 3,704) is only 250m from the edge of the slurry fields with New Brancepeth (population 1,180) only 600m away and Ushaw Moor (population 4,056) only 750m away. This is not a satisfactory arrangement.

I also note from the Odour Report that peak odour emissions occur when housing is cleared of manure or stored slurry is removed. The report comments there is 'little available information on the magnitude of peak emissions.' Given this, there is a need to take some measures at similar sized pig factories from elsewhere in the country so the impact can be assessed.

Bad Neighbour Activities
EMP10
Bad Neighbour Activities by their very nature may have adverse implications due to excessive noise, smell etc.
They will only be permitted if they will not have an adverse impact on the occupiers of nearby and/or adjoining premises in terms of noise, dust, smell etc. (FAILS)

5.51 New development of this nature should only take place where there is no significant nuisance to adjacent premises and occupiers in terms of noise, dust, smell and where the development would not cause conditions prejudicial to road safety. (FAILS)
The smell from the slurry spreading is going to be dreadful and long lasting. The air and ground pollution are going to have a seriously adverse impact on neighbours. The number of local objections indicates the strength of feeling.



Road safety will be compromised if the application is approved and is discussed in detail below.



Transport
T1 - Council will not grant planning permission for developments that would generate traffic which would be detrimental to highway safety. (FAILS)

6.28 Traffic generated by a development is one of the most important considerations in determining a planning application. The council will not allow any proposal which would generate traffic having a significant adverse effect on the amenity of occupiers of neighbouring property and/or would be harmful to highway safety. (FAILS)


















































6.26 Local Plan Objectives:
To improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
To promote road safety. (FAILS)




In the Design and Access Statement, the applicant states it will have a "negligible impact upon the road network and highway safety."

Currently there are weight restrictions on Broadgate Lane prohibiting vehicles over 7.5 tonnes from using it and there are signs saying it is "unsuitable for HGVs."

The applicant now proposes to send 44 tonne trucks that are upto 50ft in length down the lane. What has changed to make this lane suitable for such vehicles?

Between the entrance to Biggin Farm and the junction with the B6302, the road is very narrow. There are many sharp bends and visibility is poor. The road is popular with walkers, joggers, horse riders and cyclists - there are even pedestrian and child warning road traffic signs here -why? It is highly used by these groups! The likelihood of an accident and particularly a lethal one will increase dramatically if this reckless proposal is approved.

In the Highways Statement (11/04/17), the officer states, "It is likely that two vehicles will not be able to pass, particularly if one of the vehicles is an HGV and large in nature." There is no chance a HGV and even a small car will be able to pass each other between the bridge north of Broadgate Farm and Ragpath Cottage.
The officer also states "the likelihood of vehicles meeting is high."

The Health and Safety Executive states in regard to roadways that "roadways and access routes should be designed to provide a safe environment for all users and hence reduce the likelihood of road traffic accidents occurring."
Broadgate Lane was not designed to cope with such long and heavy vehicles.
The H&SE also states:
1. "All two way industrial roads should have a minimum width of 7.3m."
2. "Curves should be of sufficiently large enough radius to permit HGVs to pass without the need for local widening"
This is further evidence Broadgate Lane is unsafe to such vehicles. The H&SE also states, "kerbing to roadways should be provided to clearly define the roadway and provide a measure of protection" - there are no kerbs down the majority of Broadgate Lane and no places for pedestrians to stand off the road in places.

Only recently, Broadgate Lane was made a one way road for a lengthy period due to concerns regarding Highway Safety!


In conclusion, allowing such large vehicles down this road will compromise safety for other vehicles, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.


Listed Buildings + Historic Parks & Gardens (Flass Hall is specifically mentioned in the plan)
E26 - Planning permission for development at Flass Hall will only be granted provided that the proposal:
Would not detract from the enjoyment, character, appearance or setting.

3.101 -The historic integrity and landscape value of Parks and Gardens are inseparable and it is important to protect them from inappropriate development.

3.102 -All parks and gardens are in the Area of High Landscape Value.

E21 & 3.81- This includes structures and open spaces that are within, surround and are adjacent to the development.
(FAILS)

Flass Hall, its parkland and gardens are classed as being an Area of High Landscape Value.

Smell from the spreading of pig slurry and from the rearing units will be offensive. Odours from pig rearing can be highly offensive and will certainly be from slurry spreading. The smell is likely to linger for well beyond the eight days required to spread it.
Toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide and ammonia are released during slurry spreading.

Airborne ammonia and nitrogen from the general emissions by the pigs themselves will drift over the landscape.
The application will therefore clearly detracts from enjoyment, character, appearance and setting of Flass Hall.


Amenities
EMP 17
5.68 - It's important to ensure that the character of the countryside, appearance of the area and amenities of neighbouring properties are not prejudice to diversification proposals
(FAILS) The development will directly affect my wife and many others as they will no longer to be able to ride horses on many of the local bridleways.
Horses have an incredibly strong sense of smell.
A high proportion of horses are scared by the smell of pigs and will refuse to go past. They can behave unpredictably and are therefore more likely to have an accident. The bridleway which runs through Ragpath (about 450m from the pig unit) would be therefore unusable not only to ourselves but many riders who enjoy using this.
Furthermore, with the planned spreading of pig slurry on the fields adjacent to the bridleway from Holborn Bridge to North Wood - this bridleway would also be inaccessible to horses for a long period.
This equates to 4.5km of bridleway that would be unusable as a minimum.
Pig slurry spreading is also planned for fields north and east of Hareholme Court. This is just 25m from the Deerness Valley Railway Path, which is very heavily used.
This part of the Deerness Valley is probably the best for off road horse riding area in County Durham due to the length and loops of the bridleways and possibly the most popular as a result.
This is amenity is going to be denied unless the application is rejected.

Protection of Open Space used for recreation
8.12 Council aims to improve access to countryside (Deerness Valley)
8.13 To safeguard and improve existing recreation and leisure facilities.
(FAILS)
The Lionmouth Rural Centre is an important community facility (not for profit organisation) that needs safeguarding from the negative effects of this proposal. It does a huge amount of great work with vulnerable adults and community groups. It has a lovely caf with terrace overlooking the hillside of the proposed development and plant nursery that generates income. It will clearly be detrimental to this great facility.


Protection of Open Space used for recreation
R3 - Development which would result in the loss of an area of open space currently used for recreation will not be permitted. (FAILS)

R16 - Durham is experiencing growth in horse riding as a leisure pursuit. The council seeks to discourage horse riding along roads.

As previously mentioned, 4.5km of public bridleway is directly adjacent to the site. Horse riders will no longer be able to use this.


A further 7km of bridleway is within 1km of the site. When the slurry is spread, horse riders will lose access to these trails.



Public Rights of Way and other paths
R11 - Public access to the countryside will be encouraged and safeguarded by protecting the existing public rights of way and other paths which would result in their destruction or diversion.

T21 - The council will seek to safeguard the needs of walkers. Existing footpaths and public rights of way are protected. A safe, attractive and convenient footpath network is established. (FAILS) Walking is the most common form of leisure activity and potentially the most important recreational asset in the district (City Plan).



The odour from pig slurry spreading is highly offensive and will spoil the enjoyment of anyone walking in the area. There are many footpaths across the land proposed for slurrying and around the periphery. Please look at an OS Map - as many of these paths, nearby footpaths and bridleways have been omitted from the Location Plan provided by the applicant!
In several fields where slurrying is planned, there are footpaths directly across the centre of the fields that are going to be covered in pig slurry. These will therefore be unusable at spreading times throughout the year. Toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide and ammonia will be present. All walkers (children, adults and dogs) will be affected detrimentally by this. There is the potential for eye and respiratory tract irritation at even 20ppm.

People living near pig farms or agricultural fields fertilized with pig manure are more likely to become infected with MRSA bacteria.1
This has been proven in a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association - one of the world's leading medical associations.

Additionally, the intensive livestock rearing will produce permenantly lingering offensive odours in the area. On page 18 of the Odour report, the map shows odours between 1.5 and 3.0 ouE/m3 over the footpath network through Ragpath Wood. These are acknowledged as clearly detectable and offensive. On the public paths next to the site, concentrations are way beyond 10 ouE/m3. These exposures are acknowledged as strong and intrusive and are way above the 3.0 ouE/m3 clearly indicating unacceptable odour pollution based on Environmental Agency guidelines.

This evidence overall suggests the footpath network will be potentially unsafe, certainly unattractive and certainly inconvenient.

Conclusion
National Planning Policy Framework advises that "Local planning authorities should work proactively with applicants to secure development that improves economic, social and environmental conditions."
The proposal will make a negligible contribution to the local economy, will be very damaging to the amenities of the area and destructive to the environment - which is a high value landscape.
The applicant states it is a sustainable development. It is not according to the definition in the local plan.
2.16 - Sustainable development requires social, economic and environmental objectives to be met together, rather than giving greater weight to one at the expense of the other.
3.5 The concept of sustainable development which has emerged as a guiding principle seeks to ensure that decisions made about development should not deny future generations the best use of today's environment.
Lastly, the foreword of the City of Durham Local Plan 'is to protect and enhance what is good, and improve and evolve Durham ensuring our best assets continue to improve all our lives. To seek to ensure the quality of life for future generations. To improve the quality of the environment and enable an enduring quality of life.'
As a member of the planning committee, you are in a cherished position to make decisions to make County Durham a better or worse place for generations to come. This application needs rejecting.
Kind Regards
Steven Barella

Appendices
1: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1738717
The Journal of the American Medical Association

Comment submitted date: Mon 15 May 2017

Objection to the application DM/17/00919/FPA
I write to strongly object to the above application. Having read the full application and planning policy; it is clearly an unacceptable proposal.
EMP17 states that for Farm Diversification, where planning permission is required that it will be granted provided that:
1. The proposal would not have an unacceptable adverse effect upon the amenity, character or appearance of the countryside.
2. The proposal would be of a suitable scale appropriate to its surroundings.
3. The proposal would have no unacceptable adverse effect on the amenity of occupiers of nearby or adjoining property.
The application fails against all of the above criteria and many other aspects of policy, several of which are outlined below:
Nature Conservation
E16 " The council will protect and enhance the nature conservation assets of the district.
It will require surveys of wildlife habitats
As far as possible it will avoid unacceptable harm to conservation interests.

FAIL

Have any wildlife surveys been completed? Ammonia and nitrogen levels are forecast to exceed critical levels in Ragpath Wood. What impact will this have on the biodiversity of the ancient woodland?
How will the spreading of pig slurry over 650 acres, twice yearly affect the local environment?



E14 " In considering proposals affecting trees, the council will:
1. Not permit development which would result in the loss of ancient woodland.

3.62 Ancient woodland is continuous woodland cover since 1600 " rich in mature trees and has a diverse range of flora and fauna. They form habitats which cannot be recreated and attention will be given to ensure their special characteristics are maintained both through protection given by the policy and appropriate management.

FAIL

The developer acknowledges that a minimum of 6.6 hectares of ancient woodland will be subject to ammonia above CRITICAL levels and 2.3 hectares will also be subject to nitrogen deposition rates above CRITICAL levels.
Ancient woodland is classed as irreplaceable as it takes 400 years to establish. It is also highly sensitive to environmental change. The duty of the planning committee is to protect this.
(NB In the test run by the developer they did not use Environmental Agency emission rates. The applicant adjusted the emission rate, reducing it by 20%). I note the Odour report states ⿿that towards the end of the growth cycle, odour production within pig housing increases rapidly and emission rates are considerably greater.⿿ The purpose of the business is to bulk 30kg juvenile pigs to 105kg finished weight. Surely the emission rate should be increased rather than reduced! They also adjusted the assumed GFS meteorological data for ground roughness from 2.75m to 3m. Why were these parameters adjusted? The effect of doing so understates both the levels and distribution of ammonia and nitrogen.


E16 The council will seek to safeguard sites of nature conservation importance. Development which would be detrimental to nature conservation will not be permitted unless it is demonstrated:
1. The benefits from the development outweigh the nature conservation interest of the site AND
2. No alternative suitable sites for development in the county or region.
FAIL The near negligible benefits of this proposal clearly do not outweigh the nature conservation interest.
High value landscapes are special as they are rare and need the utmost protection. This application should be nowhere near ancient woodland " according to my OS Map it is less than 150m away. There will be hundreds of alternative sites in County Durham more suited and thousands across the wider region.

Wildlife Corridors
E19
3.78 Rivers and woodlands along which wildlife can move and live are paramount in maintaining biodiversity in the district and in ensuring key habitats maintain the range of species.
FAIL

U9
Developments which may directly affect watercourses will only be permitted provided that it:
1. Does not pollute the watercourse.
2. Does not adversely affect nature conservation interest.
3. It is properly assessed.
FAIL The chemical pollution of Ragpath Wood and sections of the Deerness River are accepted by the applicant as collateral damage.

Additionally, spreading slurry over 650 acres in March/ April as well as August/September has not been assessed from an environmental perspective. The impact of the development on the watercourses has not been carried out. This seems a fundamental planning consideration.

During the porosity test undertaken, the ground was confirmed as poorly draining. This is due to the site sitting on boulder clay. Consequently, during wetter months such as March/April surface runoff in this area will be high. Whilst a number of fields are flat, several are steeply sloping e.g. several to the south of Eshwood and one field directly to the north east of the proposed site and one to the north of Hareholme court. Significant amounts of raw slurry are going to enter the Deerness River or Red Burn under this plan. The consequences of this are not clear.

3.79 The council will seek to protect the integrity of wildlife corridors taking into account the types of species which are found along their length. There are no surveys of wildlife habitats in the application. There should be surveys for Ragpath Wood, Esh Wood and the Deerness River as a minimum to assess biodiversity.


Pollution
U5 Planning permission for the development will not be granted if the proposal:
1. Will have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the quality of the local environment.
2. Will not have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the amenity of nearby and adjoining land and property.
Paragraph 109: Planning should prevent new and existing development from contributing unacceptable soil, air, water or noise pollution.
Paragraph 110: The effects of pollution on health, the natural environment or general amenity and potential sensitivity of the area or development should be taken into account.

FAIL The damage that will occur to Ragpath Wood (Ancient Woodland) and of Nature Conservation Importance, in terms of chemical pollution (ammonia and nitrogen deposition) is acknowledged by the applicant and is clearly unacceptable.
Esh Wood (Historic Parkland) with some parts of Nature Conservation importance will like Ragpath Wood be directly adjacent to mass slurry spreading. Given the chemical composition of the slurry and the sensitivity of these environments, biodiversity will be badly affected.
The River Deerness will also be badly affected. Huge investments of time, money and effort have gone into the restoration of the River in recent years by the Rivers Trust. Beneath Lionmouth Rural Centre, the banks of the river have been built up again and salmon passes have been added. This conservation work appeared on BBC Countryfile.
Clearly this will affect the quality of this environment.

Unacceptable air pollution will occur. The strength, duration and range of offensive odours from the spreading of the slurry needs assessing in full. There are also regular temperature inversions in this valley bottom during the colder months (including March) and the stench could last for a prolonged period.

Why were no noise positions located at Flass Hall? It is the nearest residential development at 410m. I also note that on the two days tests were run, the highest wind speed recorded was 2.9m/s. According to the Met Office, the average wind speed for Durham is on average 10mph.

The smell, noise and environmental pollution from the development will clearly have an unacceptable adverse impact on neighbouring land and property as well as the local amenities.

U8A Development proposals will only be approved if they include satisfactory arrangements for disposing foul and surface water.

FAIL How much slurry will 4,000 medium to large pigs produce annually?
The disposal is only planned twice yearly over a four day period. No assessment has been done of the odour from spreading the slurry.
Spreading pig manure over 650 acres will create a horrendous smell over the entire valley. Anyone who has been past even the smallest of pig farms will know this.
There are a number of isolated properties in extremely close proximity to the fields to be spread with slurry. It will be truly horrendous for them.
Esh Winning (population 3,704) is only 250m from the edge of the slurry fields with New Brancepeth (popn 1180) only 600m away and Ushaw Moor (popn 4,056) only 700m away.
This is clearly not a satisfactory arrangement.

I also note from the Odour Report that peak odour emissions occur when housing is cleared of manure or stored slurry is removed. The applicant is planning to deep clean between batches on a weekly basis. The report comments there is ⿿little available information on the magnitude of peak emissions.⿿ Given this, there is a need to take some measures at similar sized pig factories from elsewhere in the country so the impact can be assessed.

Transport
T1 " Council will not grant planning permission for developments that would generate traffic which would be detrimental to highway safety. The leisure strategy identifies cycling and walking as the most popular outdoor recreational activities.

This quiet road is well used by cyclists, joggers and walkers. Its narrowness and the size of vehicles that will be using it will have an effect on the enjoyment of it by these groups.

Listed Buildings + Historic Parks & Gardens (Flass Hall is specifically mentioned in the plan)
E23 " Not to permit development which detracts from the setting of a listed building.

FAIL

3.30 There are impressive public views to and from the World Heritage Site. In the context of long distance views, there is a need to safeguard the land from inappropriate development.
This development is 410m from Flass Hall. The feed silos towers are over 8m tall and on the landscape plan appear to be visible from Flass Hall and its parkland. The woodland is also full of deciduous trees so the full site may be visible in the winter. This will certainly detract from the visual setting.
Although further away, both Ushaw College and Durham Cathedral can be seen from the proposed site of the units and therefore the site is visible from those locations.
E26 " Planning permission for development at Flass Hall will only be granted provided that the proposal:
1. Would not detract from the enjoyment, character, appearance or setting.

3.101 The historic integrity and landscape value of Parks and Gardens are inseparable and it is important to protect them from inappropriate development
3.102 All parks and gardens are in the Area of High Landscape Value.

E21 & 3.81" This includes structures and open spaces that are within, surround and are adjacent to the development.

FAIL Flass Hall, its parkland and gardens are classed as being an Area of High Landscape Value.

Smell from the spreading of pig slurry and from the rearing units will be offensive. Odours from pig rearing can be highly offensive and will certainly be from slurry spreading. The smell is likely to linger for well beyond the eight days required to spread it.
Toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide and ammonia are released during slurry spreading.

Predicted noise levels were not assessed at Flass Hall (Why not given it is the closest dwelling?)

Airborne ammonia and nitrogen from the general emissions by the pigs themselves will drift over the landscape.
The application will therefore clearly detracts from enjoyment, character, appearance and setting of Flass Hall.

Amenities
EMP 17
5.68 " It⿿s important to ensure that the character of the countryside, appearance of the area and amenities of neighbouring properties are not prejudice to diversification proposals

FAIL We own land adjacent to the development. The development will directly affect my wife as she will no longer to be able to ride on our own field directly SE of Flass Hall and many local bridleways, which she currently uses. A high proportion of horses are scared by the smell of pigs and will refuse to go past. They can behave unpredictably and are therefore more likely to have an accident. The bridleway which runs through Ragpath (about 100m from the pig unit) would be therefore unusable not only to ourselves but many riders who enjoy using this.
Furthermore, with the planned spreading of pig slurry on the fields adjacent to the bridleway from Holborn Bridge to North Wood " this bridleway would also be inaccessible to horses for a long period.
This equates to 4.5km of bridleway that would be unusable as a minimum.
Pig slurry spreading is also planned for fields north and east of Hareholme Court. This will prevent many horses from travelling through the Deerness Valley via the old railway lines to the north. Again these are heavily used by riders.
This part of the Deerness Valley is probably the best for off road horse riding area in County Durham due to the length and loops of the bridleways and possibly the most popular as a result.

Protection of Open Space used for recreation
8.12 Council aims to improve access to countryside (Deerness Valley)
8.13 To safeguard and improve existing recreation and leisure facilities
FAIL
The Lionmouth Rural Centre is an important community facility (not for profit organisation) that needs safeguarding from the negative effects of this proposal. It does a huge amount of great work with vulnerable adults and community groups. It has a lovely café with terrace overlooking the hillside of the proposed development and plant nursery that generates income. It will clearly be detrimental to this great facility.


Protection of Open Space used for recreation
R3 " Development which would result in the loss of an area of open space currently used for recreation will not be permitted.
FAIL
R16 " Durham is experiencing growth in horse riding as a leisure pursuit. The council seeks to discourage horse riding along roads.
As previously mentioned, 4.5km of public bridleway is directly adjacent to the site. Horse riders will no longer be able to use this.

A further 7km of bridleway is within 1km of the site. When the slurry is spread, horse riders will lose access to these trails.



Public Rights of Way and other paths
R11 " Public access to the countryside will be encouraged and safeguarded by protecting the existing public rights of way and other paths which would result in their destruction or diversion.

T21 " The council will seek to safeguard the needs of walkers. Existing footpaths and public rights of way are protected. A safe, attractive and convenient footpath network is established.
FAIL
Walking is the most common form of leisure activity and potentially the most important recreational asset in the district (City Plan).


The odour from pig slurry spreading is highly offensive and will spoil the enjoyment of anyone walking in the area. There are many footpaths across the land proposed for slurrying and around the periphery. Please look at an OS Map " as many of these paths, nearby footpaths and bridleways have been omitted from the Location Plan provided by the applicant!
In several fields where slurrying is planned, there are footpaths directly across the centre of the fields that are going to be covered in pig slurry. These will therefore be unusable at spreading times throughout the year. Toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide and ammonia will be present. All walkers (children, adults and dogs) will be affected detrimentally by this. There is the potential for eye and respiratory tract irritation at even 20ppm.

People living near pig farms or agricultural fields fertilized with pig manure are more likely to become infected with MRSA bacteria.1
This has been proven in a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association " one of the world⿿s leading medical associations.

Additionally, intensive livestock rearing will produce offensive odours. On page 17 of the Odour Report it states odours will be ⿿easily recognisable, strong, intrusive and offensive to humans,⿿ throughout Ragpath Wood and the several of the surrounding fields.

This evidence overall suggests the footpath network will be potentially unsafe, certainly unattractive and certainly inconvenient.


Conclusion
National Planning Policy Framework advises that ⿿Local planning authorities should work proactively with applicants to secure development that improves economic, social and environmental conditions.⿝
The proposal will make a negligible contribution to the local economy, will be very damaging socially and destructive to the environment " which is a high value landscape.
The applicant states it is a sustainable development. It is not according to the definition in the local plan.
2.16 " Sustainable development requires social, economic and environmental objectives to be met together, rather than giving greater weight to one at the expense of the other.
3.5 The concept of sustainable development which has emerged as a guiding principle seeks to ensure that decisions made about development should not deny future generations the best use of today⿿s environment.

Lastly, the foreword of the City of Durham Local Plan ⿿is to protect and enhance what is good, and improve and evolve Durham ensuring our best assets continue to improve all our lives. To seek to ensure the quality of life for future generations. To improve the quality of the environment and enable an enduring quality of life.⿿
As a member of the planning committee, you are in a cherished position to make decisions to make County Durham a better or worse place for generations to come. This application needs rejecting.
Kind Regards
Steven Barella

Appendices
1: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1738717
The Journal of the American Medical Association

Pat Atkinson Eshwood Lodge Eshwood Estate New Brancepeth Durham DH7 7HG (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 07 Feb 2018

Please see Documents tab for copy of comment

Mr Mike Reed 8 Woodbine Terrace New Brancepeth Durham DH7 7HE (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Mon 05 Feb 2018

Not Available

Comment submitted date: Tue 08 Aug 2017

Please see Document tab for comments

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