The farm will have 554,000 chickens when completed
The farm will have 554,000 chickens when completed Allan Reinikka ROK260918accvegie

No feathers ruffled over poultry farm improvements

SOMERSET'S poultry industry is set to soar with council approving the expansion of the Ebborn poultry.

The Mount Hallen property has been in an ongoing state of expansion since construction was first approved in 2007, with new sheds and facilities under construction.

This newest development will involve the construction of a new gravel road, and six additional sheds, housing 194,000 birds.

When complete, this will bring the farm's total to 14 sheds, with 554,000 birds.

The site has been contentious with both council and community in the past, and a range of concerns were raised by the public about these new additions.

Odour and dust were the biggest issues raised, and were addressed accordingly, with the council report indicating all conditions and guidelines had been met to reduce these issues.

The number and welfare of the birds were also discussed.

The birds will not be caged, but allowed to wander freely within the sheds, and the maximum number of animals was reduced to 554,000, from the original capacity of 630,000.

Other areas of concern included the impact vehicles coming to and from the farm might have on the road, and fears the farm's presence would decrease property values.

The report indicated the expansion wasn't expected to have any significant impact on the road, and property values were not a planning consideration.

Two of the previously-approved sheds are still under construction, so it may be some time before the new developments gets underway.

No estimated date has been given for when construction will be completed.