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Chicken protesters hit Stafford streets over £6 million battery farm

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Protesters took to the streets to plead their case as to why approved plans for a £6 million poultry farm should be reconsidered.

South Staffordshire Council's planning committee approved the proposal for eight battery sheds, off Cannock Road in Penkridge, in September.

The development will house 482,000 birds, with 60,250 stored in each shed, which will measure 124.97m by 24.68m, or 410ft by 80ft and will be 5.9m, 19.3ft, tall.

Protesters have already raised their concerns over animal rights issues in relation to the farm.

A protest in Stafford town centre against the proposals for a chicken farm in Penkridge

However, their case was heard by more than 200 shoppers in Stafford town centre over the weekend, who added their name to the growing list of those against the plans.

An online petition now stands at nearly 70,000 signatures, however protesters wanted to speak face-to-face with members of the public.

Animal rights activist Charlotte Tonkinson, aged 33, from Penkridge, said: "Our demonstration in Stafford town centre went great.

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"We had more than 200 people sign a petition, a lot of these were people who didn't know about the plans or certainly didn't know the full detail.

The plans for the chicken farm have already been approved

"We know the plans have been approved and so legally our petition may not hold much weight but morally we think this is awful.

"These chickens will be raised to be killed and during their short lives they will have absolutely zero natural experiences.

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"We know the size of the problem we are up against but we are determined to keep the pressure on."

All but one member of the planning committee voted in favour of the controversial scheme, from Pillaton Foods, despite opposition from around 4,000 residents who had petitioned against it.

Concerns centred around potential smell and noise as well as traffic, with on average seven lorries coming and going a day and up to 15 at peak times of the year.

Planning agent Ian Pick told the Express & Star: "We have been through the planning process and the application was assessed by the local authority.

"It was then democratically approved, so it is a bit late for protesting now."

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