Villagers concerned about dairy farm proposals

VILLAGERS are up in arms over plans to build a huge dairy with nearly 3,000 cows close to their homes.

Velmur Ltd wants to put the 2,896-cow farm in South Witham but parish councillors and residents are opposed to it.

The company came under fire at a South Witham Parish Council meeting on Tuesday evening.

Council chairman Martin Wilkins said the company's director Mike Walsh, along with other representatives, went along to make a presentation about the proposal, which would create up to 30 jobs.

He said the site was too close to residents' homes which are just a few hundred metres away and that the dairy would cause bad smells, noise pollution, traffic issues as well as attracting flies. There could also be possible problems with animal welfare.

Coun Wilkins added: "This is not acceptable."

There will be another presentation by Velmur at a public meeting in South Witham Village Hall on Monday at 7pm. It is open to all.

Resident Fiona Stuart, 45, of Troughton Walk, South Witham, said if this development went ahead, it could bring such a blight on the village that it may affect those not only living in the area but also people trying to sell their homes.

She added: "All residents wanting to find out more should attend this meeting because this concerns us all, whether we live in the area most likely to be affected, for example the High Street, if we have children going to the school up the road, or have an issue with vast numbers of animals being treated inhumanely like this."

Company director Mike Walsh told the Lincolnshire Echo it was very important to talk to people before any firm proposals were submitted.

He said: "We think there are a lot of positives with what we want to do at South Witham, for example new jobs.

"Animal welfare is vital to the success of our operation because if you don't have healthy animals you don't survive in the dairy business."

South Kesteven District Council has confirmed that no planning application has been received yet for the dairy on land south of Broadgate Road.

Velmur Ltd, which has a registered office in London, is working together with landowner the Buckminster Trust Estate.