Poultry farmer needs new barns to keep business goingBy Jon Nurse
May 14, 2012
A farmer is hoping to expand his poultry business by adding new barns, but villagers fear the proposal is too big for the area.
Oldfield Poultry Farm in Wargrave is applying to build two new poultry sheds, almost doubling the size of its production.
Wargrave Parish Council has objected to the plans, saying the mass of development is out of keeping with the size of the site.
Robert Killoran, owner of Oldfield Poultry Farm, insists the expansion is needed since the council ordered him to remove a mobile unit that was used by a worker.
He said: “We need these new barns to sustain the business. We have to check the birds every hour or so and living away from the site makes that impossible.
“At the moment I’m having to go there two or three times at night. It’s made my life hell. I’ve got to drive nine miles to get there. That extra profit from expansion can pay for regular checks there.”
The farm, in Henley Road, has two 24 metre by nine metre sheds that hold more than 3,200 birds.
The planning application asks to build two new sheds, one 13 metres by nine metres, holding 1,000 birds, and the other 24 metres by nine metres, holding 1,800 birds.
Mr Killoran said: “We are trying to do it properly. We can build the units without planning permission but they would have to be mobile. A permanent fixture would look a lot nicer.”
Neighbours of the farm have written to the borough council objecting to the plans, stating they believe an extension would lead to overcrowding on the site.
The parish council also decided to object to the plans at its meeting at the Old Pavilion in Recreation Road on Monday, April 2, as they believed increased activity might result in increased vehicle movements to the detriment of highway safety.
Mr Killoran insists the new barns would create no extra traffic.
He said: “One van comes twice a week. That’s all. The new barns would only bring half a dozen to a dozen extra movements a year.”
Wokingham Borough Council will make the final decision on the proposal in the next few weeks.