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Planning consent pig rearing sites in the Midlands

Planning consent secured for three pig rearing sites in the Midlands for Mercer Farming

Two significant planning projects successfully delivered by Halls Planning team.

Mercer Farming known for their RSPCA Freedom Foods Approved ‘Packington Pork’ brand, purchased 1700 acres of the Patshull Estate in 2020. Robert Mercer wished to re-establish livestock on 3 sites on the predominantly arable sandy soils of the Patshull Estate. Halls successfully secured consent for pig rearing sheds on all three sites, one site in South Staffordshire and a further two sites in Shropshire. In total the three sites can house in excess of 2000 pigs where the focus is not just on profitability but on positive social and environmental outcomes.

Shaun Jones, Director at Halls, explained “Rob wishes to set up high welfare pig rearing buildings on deep straw yards in an environmentally sustainable manner. We obtained the planning consent in South Staffordshire in circa 10 weeks and without difficulty. The applications in Shropshire were a more challenging scenario – the council’s interim guidance on the potential impact of ammonia on the environment presented significant challenges. In order to secure the consent, we successfully came to an understanding on the specific use of fertilisers across land spanning 100 acres and negotiated to plant 30 acres of woodland to offset the project. We believe these are the first large livestock sites to obtain consent under the council’s current guidance.  We were delighted to finally obtain the consents that enable Rob to move forward with his enterprise”.

Rob Mercer of Mercer farming commented “Shaun understood the specific requirements of our business and clearly outlined the potential constraints at the outset. We have worked together on several projects on the Patshull Estate at the same time. The applications for three pig rearing sites were handled by the two different councils in dramatically different ways. Shaun’s assessment of the relevant issues was spot on. One council had specific expectations in terms of mitigating potential effects of ammonia on woodland. Shaun provided solutions to concerns presented to us by the planning process and obtained the planning consents that we need to transform the farms into sustainable pig rearing sites. Typically, the planning process should take about 8 weeks but the ecological requests were such that it took 12 months to obtain the consents. The team at Halls are clearly driven in meeting our objectives, despite working in a complex regulatory environment.  We would highly recommend Halls for their ability and drive in securing these important planning consents.”