Villages in pig farm protest

Richard Metcalfe owner of Rogerthorpe manor hotel is angry about proposals for a pig farm that will be behind his hotel
Richard Metcalfe owner of Rogerthorpe manor hotel is angry about proposals for a pig farm that will be behind his hotel

WORRIED residents, councillors and businesses are vowing to fight plans for a 1,500-animal pig farm at Badsworth.

Richard Metcalfe, managing director of Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel, said the proposed development at Beaconfield Road – which includes building three livestock buildings housing 500 pigs each – would blight his business.

Mr Metcalfe – who hosted a public meeting at the hotel two weeks ago – said he was joining district and parish councillors in opposing the application, submitted to Wakefield Council in December by farmer Chris Hopkinson.

According to the council’s planning website, 35 objections have so far been submitted to the proposals, which also include a temporary mobile home on the land.

Mr Metcalfe said: “There are several factors to our objections but as a business that relies solely on its wedding trade, to keep the historic listed building and its grounds up to the high standard required, we are deeply concerned that any unpleasant smells, noise and visual impact would have serious ramifications for the business.”

Coun Richard Molloy, district councillor for Thorpe Audlin and Badsworth, said a crowd of people voiced their concerns at the meeting and residents and parish councils were strongly opposing the plans.

He said: “People are worried about the smell, noise, effluence and the amount of transport that would go through the villages. There’s also a concern about an epidemic of foot and mouth disease breaking out – that whole area would be closed off.”

Townsend Planning Consultants – acting on behalf of Mr Hopkinson – said there was no concern regarding effluence as it would be on straw bedding and destroyed off site.

Michael Townsend, agent for Mr Hopkinson, added: “Transport isn’t an issue because the roads have the capacity to take the small number of vehicles an operation this size would involve.

“This is an agricultural development and it’s appropriate – we are well away from residents, the nearest building is 800m away.

“Furthermore there is protected woodland between Rogerthorpe Manor and the proposed farm.”

Mr Townsend said he had agreed to meet parish councillors soon to discuss the matter further.

The closing date for objections is February 24.