Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Nocton Dairies Plans Withdrawn.

From: Amy Jackson
Sent:  16/02/2011 1:23:39 pm
Subject:  FYI press statement being issued today - plans withdrawn


Ambitious plans for UKs largest dairy farm withdrawn

Plans to set up the UKs largest dairy farm were withdrawn today (16
February 2011), announced the applicants Nocton Dairies Ltd in the following
statement:

We are writing today to North Kesteven District Council to formally withdraw
our application for planning permission to build a 3,770 cow dairy farm at
Nocton Heath, Lincolnshire, reference 10/1397/FUL.  The sole reason for
this decision is the response of the Environment Agency, which has
maintained its objection to the proposal. 

The Environment Agencys grounds are lack of information about risks posed
to the aquifer underlying the site and uncertainty about the extent of the
benefits associated with the change in land use.  This precautionary stance
and requests for new information reflect unfamiliarity with agriculture in
general and the design of the modern dairy farm in particular.  Despite our
best efforts to address these concerns, including an additional investment
of £4 million in engineering the management of the waste to unprecedented
standards, lack of relevant research has made it impossible to provide the
reassurances required by the Environment Agency that livestock farming is an
appropriate use of land at this site. 

We believe the Environment Agency has not acted under any pressure in
reaching this decision and that no undue influence from other individuals or
organisations has been brought to bear; any claims to this effect would be
both disingenuous and self-serving. 

We would like to emphasise the following points:

·       The challenge has been laid down to the farming industry to
produce more with less.  We need leadership to help us do this and proactive
advice from regulatory experts  only a practical, informed and can-do
approach will move this whole agenda forward

·        The industry needs to stand up to those who would twist the facts
about animal welfare, and highlight lack of investment as the issue, not
scale or type of system. If our industry does not tell the public the facts
and open its doors to show how we are great at farming in many different
ways, then misinformed single interest pressure groups will fill the void
with untruths to the eventual detriment of all

·        The fundamental concept we have been proposing is a sound one:
expand dairying toward the east to re-integrate livestock and arable
farming, make better use of resources, proactively manage welfare, gain
economies of scale, and look to support a long term reduction in water
pollution.  We challenge other farmers to pick up the baton and see where
these concepts can take them.

In conclusion, we would like to thank those in the dairy industry who have
voiced support over the past few weeks  you know who you are  and the many
local people who have approached us to express their backing. We would
especially like to thank our neighbour Robert Howard, and Ralph and Mary
Timms of Nocton who had the open mindedness to fully research the project
and the courage to change their position and express their views openly in
the face of overwhelming criticism. 

Our other two applications for a pipeline and reservoir remain active. Our
farm at Nocton is a tremendous site with much potential for the future, so
we wont be selling it, but will now be taking some time to consider our
options.  Watch this space!

-ends-

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