Stables ‘in jeopardy’ from Grandborough pig farm plan

Residents and horse stables staff, that are in jeopardy of losing their jobs, if the pig farm gets the go ahead. NNL-170613-231723009

Residents and horse stables staff, that are in jeopardy of losing their jobs, if the pig farm gets the go ahead. NNL-170613-231723009

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A stables providing riding lessons for the disabled near Grandborough claims its future is in jeopardy if a proposed pig farm next door is given planning permission.

Numerous residents, businesses and the parish council oppose plans for a farm holding up to 2,500 pigs.

The farmer says it would help save his own business by diversifying it and the pigs would not unacceptably impact on residents.

Woodbine Riding Stables disagrees as owner Sue Ward says the horses would be spooked by the pigs and worries the Riding for the Disabled Association may stop using her horses.

She said: “Why would you jeopardise one business for the sake of another when it could go somewhere else?

“It’s a big issue for everyone but it has the most impact on us and cause us the most problems.

“I’m not saying they shouldn’t have it, I just don’t understand why it needs to be over the hedge from us, there are surely better places it could go.”

Another concern is lorries delivering pigs and food driving down the narrow lane to the site, used regularly by horse riders and cyclists.

A nearby campsite ran by Ms Ward’s brother Jeff Clarke is also concerned for its future as the smell of the farm may put visitors off.

John Evans, who owns Grange Farm, wants to build two barns to house up to 1,125 pigs each on land off Broadwell Road.

The proposal was submitted last year but was withdrawn after the council asked for a wildlife survey to be carried out.

A document on the current planning application says: “Due to poor economic returns within the arable sector, the applicants are seeking to diversify their agricultural business with the introduction of a new farming enterprise.

“The applicants have secured a contract to provide pig finishing accommodation as a farm diversification initiative.”

And Mr Evans sought to reassure residents when he spoke to the Advertiser about the plans.

“I think they are worrying about something that’s not going to affect them,” he said.

“This pig unit is a 21st Century high tech unit and all climate-controlled.

“The pigs are all inside and you won’t see them or hear them. The slurry unit is sealed in tanks and there will be no smell. There will be no impact whatsoever.

“People seem convinced this is going to be an open yard but it’s not.”

And he added the limited traffic would not affect the stables: “We don’t want to close the stables, we’ve got no issue with the stables.

“We don’t want to destroy anything.”

A recent meeting of Grandborough Parish Council was packed with people opposed to the pig farm proposal.

Council chairman Rod Hostie told the Advertiser they have numerous concerns about it and will be writing a formal objection letter to the planning authority.

“Our average attendance in 20 years of being on the parish council is one to two people, but we had 45 people at the last meeting,” he said.

Rugby Borough Council is set to make a decision after a consultation ends on June 29.

Visit www.planningportal.rugby.gov.uk and search for reference R17/0937 to view the application.