A Herefordshire farmer’s bid to build six new sheds to house more than 300,000 broiler chickens has been rejected by a Government inspector.

Kinsey Hern of FC Jones & Co initially sought permission in August 2021 for the sheds, which would have taken up nearly two hectares on a remote field at Green Farm near Lyonshall.

Herefordshire Council refused his application in March last year, saying the plan failed to demonstrate it would not harm protected river areas in the county, whose poor ecological condition has been attributed largely to farm run-off.


Mr Hern appealed, and consequently planning inspector Wayne Johnson was appointed to hold a hearing and site visit at the end of February to assess the bid.

Based on this, Mr Johnson has now dismissed the appeal, saying he was “unable to conclude that the proposed development would not add to the unfavourable ammonia and nitrogen levels in the surrounding environment, particularly with regard to the SAC [the River Wye special area of conservation]”.

The proposal would also “result in significant harm” to the nearby ancient Crump Oak Wood, he concluded.

Hereford Times: What would have been the access to the sheds off the A480 through Crump Oak WoodWhat would have been the access to the sheds off the A480 through Crump Oak Wood (Image: Google Street View)

There was therefore no justification for a new farm worker’s dwelling, as had also been proposed in the original application, Mr Johnson said.

But the inspector refused Herefordshire Council’s bid for an award of costs against Mr Hern, concluding that “unreasonable behaviour by the appellant, resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense, has not been demonstrated”.

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