North Kesteven District Council permits poultry farmer’s expansion near Sleaford to keep up to 225,700 birds

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A poultry rearing company has been given permission to expand the capacity of two of its facilities near Sleaford by more than 133,200 birds.

Stonegate Farmers, which describes itself as “free-range and organic egg specialists” has been given the go ahead by North Kesteven District Council to replace five poultry rearing units with another five at West Lodge, in Roxholm, and replace another five with six units at Bloxholm Farm, in Bloxholm.

The company says the move will “improve the efficiency and operation” of the facilities, which it says are currently “of poor quality”.

The sites will have a total capacity of 225,700 birds.

A report from officers added: “Part of the general justification for the proposals relates to a reduction on dependence on import of egg laying birds from the continent.”

The authority’s economic development team said the proposal was in keeping with the number of poultry needed to supply major food processors.

“The district is an established centre for poultry production rearing well over three million birds a year and poultry farming is an increasingly successful diversification for arable farmers, taking advantage of comparatively low land take and local if not on-farm feed prices,” said the report.

Officers concluded the proposals were both acceptable.