The comments below have been received from Esther Harrod & Steve Herring of Hemingford Grey. Several serious deviations from the agreed plans have been noted and reported to HDC, who now require a retrospective application for the revisions. It is hoped that the arrogant disregard for adherence to approved plans will result in HDC rejecting the revised application AND instigating full Enforcement, instead of the usual weak 'nodding through'....
It’s not only that Boparan extended eight intensive poultry sheds by 60 feet each, blatantly ignoring their planning permission. It also means that the extensions will have entirely changed the infrastructure of the operation as well. That includes management of drainage, dirty water etc. They have also massively oversized the balancing ponds they use for cleaning. Both HDC and the Environment Agency saw the drawings for the revised ponds in 2011, but no one questioned why they were so big!! The buildings have also moved further towards the A14 along with their LPG tanks.
You may not be familiar with various other planning applications sought on behalf on Boparan/2 Sisters Food group, owners of Galley Hill Farm, in the last 3 years. These include 37 tonnes (18 tanks) of LPG which they wanted to site adjacent to the A14 a 77m high wind turbine (refused) and a 45m high wind turbine (which is still pending consideration). All three of these applications were objected to by residents of Hemingford Grey and Fenstanton via petitions and written objections to HDC, backed by Jonathan Djagnoly. Despite Cambridge Airport objecting to the latest wind turbine application back in March, and them having to put a new full retrospective planning application in for the rest of the site, Boparan continue to pursue their dreams of having a turbine which will be positioned just inside the farm gates - squeezed in between the first poultry shed and the manager's bungalow, still yet to be built) – how distracting for road users and surely a great asset for the town, being sited at the “gateway to St Ives” from the A14. Directions to St Ives? – just chuck a left at the wind turbine mate. The turbine would also be sited very close to the current LPG tanks (25 tonnes).
In their retrospective application we have noted a further base for LPG tanks indicated in the very place they were told they could not have them. Another “mistake”?! Additionally, instead of removing it from site as they should have done, the excavated soil was used to create a long earth bund, where there should have been soft landscaping, as instructed by HDC. The bund has made a very convenient visible barrier between the LPG tanks, the extended poultry sheds and the A14. No doubt they don’t want people to see what’s going on. Oh yes and in their original planning application, they told HDC the bird stocking numbers would be 320,000 per 6 week cycle and then later applied to the EA for a permit for 450,000 instead (from 109,800 birds!) The EA have told us they have no knowledge of the planning application figure of 320,000 birds! It now transpires they also didn’t vary their permit with the EA by telling them they had increased the size of the sheds. Life is full of mistakes isn’t it!!
The reason why this flagrant breach of planning permission was “spotted” was because of the appalling site drawings submitted for the last turbine application which lacked any relevant dimensions and left off the bank of 12 LPG tanks which are clearly very close to the proposed turbine. A costly mistake indeed for Boparan/2 Sisters. Joe Public would never get away with oversizing an extension so why should they?!
Esther Harrod & Steve Herring, Hemingford Grey