I am grateful to all the Members who have come along to listen to the petition, particularly my hon. Friend Tom Pursglove, whose constituency is also affected by this dreadful proposal for a factory-style American chicken farm in Higham and Rushden. As a result of this outrageous proposal, 540,000 chickens will be slaughtered every 39 days. The lead petitioners are Councillor David Jenney, Roger Barnes and Councillor Peter Tomas, and 7,002 people have signed the petition. It states:
The Humble Petition of residents of Rushden, Northamptonshire and the surrounding area,
That the Petitioners believe that the proposed Bedfordia Farms planning application for a high intensity chicken farm be refused on the grounds of increased pollution, foul odour, effect on local house prices, increased traffic volume;
and further that similar farms have a poor record on animal welfare.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Communities and Local Government, Northamptonshire County Council and East Northamptonshire Council to take in account the concerns of petitioners and refuse to grant the planning application for a high intensity chicken farm to Bedfordia farms.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.