• Natural England changes its view on huge pig unit

    3rd May 2012 | News | Claire
  • The outlook for the vast pig unit at Venn Ottery, equivalent to the size of three football pitches, has changed yet again, with revised comments from Natural England.

    Previously, NE had taken a neutral stance, on the basis that they were constrained by interim Government guidance which prevented them from taking ambient nitrogen levels into account.

    However, they have now made a formal statement that the application could, after all, breach EU legislation under Regulation 61 of the Habitats Directive. 

    The key issue appears to be the levels of nitrogen and ammonia caused by the pig unit’s emissions, which could have a ‘significant likely effect’ on the flora and fauna on the pebblebed heaths, which are Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation.

    It is unclear yet whether the applicant can find a way around this problem or not.

    The RSPB previously submitted a robust objection to the plans, based on Regulation 61 of the Habitats Directive.

    The land is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Photograph:  Looking down in the Venn Ottery valley where the applicant wants to build the pig unit.