Join our Protest

Join our protest against Industrial Poultry Expansion on rare timbered pastures (1% Shropshire) next to BAP Priority Habitats Species Landscape.

Planning Application Number: 19/01154/FUL

Shropshire Council Planning Officer Tim Rogers has posted a report of Recommendation to Grant Permission subject to the conditions set out in Appendix 1.

Recommendation: Delegate to the Planning Services Manager for approval subject to the conditions as outlined in appendix one attached to this report and any modifications to these conditions as considered necessary by the Planning Services Manager and the signing of a Section 106 agreement in relation to manure spreading .

The report can be accessed here.

Revealed: UK government failing to tackle rise of serious air pollutant

There have been two important articles in the Guardian newspaper recently and also in from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism about the failing of the U.K. Government to deal with serious air pollutant – agricultural ammonia. This is applicable to this case as the potential development is situated in a nitrate vulnerable zone. Please click through below to read the article.

Revealed: UK government failing to tackle rise of serious air pollutant

Dealing with ammonia is an urgent health problem – yet levels are still rising

How Ammonia is Killing Off the Countryside -TBOIL

Image: Guardian newspaper. 13th June 2019.

Action Group call for Environmental Impact Assessment

The Betton and Norton Action Group are calling for an Environmental Impact Assessment to assess the  impact of dust and odour pollution on residents from excrement spreading. This follows the recent Court of Appeal ruling in the Tasley Brook case in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.  

In light of this case BAN Action Group are stating that Industrial Planning Application 19/01154/FUL, which would be located in a nitrate vulnerable zone as well as a drinking water safe guarded zone, has not been adequately assessed for toxic dust and odour emissions, which pose serious health risks to both local residents, the community at large and protected wildlife species.

In the recent Tasley case, The Court of Appeal confirmed that the fields where the storage and spreading of manure will take place have to be identified; the potential dust and odour impacts modelled and an assessment made of the likely significant effects on the environment and on nearby residents. Read here.

We have reached over 550 objections so far and over 55,000 signatures via online petition

The controversial development has received so far: over 550 local objections to the Shropshire Council Planning Portal, and online petitions of over 55,000 signatures, including concerns and objections raised by the Norton-In-Hales Parish Council, The Loggerheads Parish Council, Chair of the British Association for Free Range Eggs, The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Shropshire, CPRE Staffordshire, The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), The Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Staffordshire Mammal Group, The Shropshire Badger Group, The Shropshire Barn Owl Group, The UK Wild Otter Trust, The Otter Advisory Board, The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Shropshire Wildlife Photography Hides and the Betton and Norton Wildlife Group, amongst others.

Deadline Extended

A huge thank you to those of you have dutifully re-submitted your objections. We are extremely grateful and have been so encouraged by such over whelming support from the Betton, Norton-In-Hales and wider communities. Thank you!

Although the official deadline for objections was Monday 15th April, Shropshire Council seem to be still accepting objections right now.

In light of this, if you still have not had time to object, now is your last chance!


You can make your objection via three different methods:

1. Online via the Shropshire Planning Portal. Quoting application reference: 19/01154/FUL (please ensure that your content has uploaded and submitted before logging off). 

2. Via Email: Quoting application reference: 19/01154/FUL

3. Post: to the Planning Department (Wem), Shire Hall, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND quoting application reference: 19/01154/FUL

Please remember to include your last objection (ref 18/04555/FUL). Thank you.

Application reference: 


Oakley Hall and Park

The proposed site borders a Grade 11 * listed Queen Anne Mansion Oakley Hall and Parkland & can be seen clearly from the driveway, garden,bridle ways and footpaths which run through this estate.
  • Shropshire Core Policy CS17 indicates that development should protect and enhance the high quality and local character of Shropshire’s built and historic environmental and that it should not adversely affect the visual or heritage values and functions of these assets.
  • Oakley Hall and Park is part of a local character area of uninterrupted English countryside celebrated for its history, beauty, diversity and tranquility.
  • The Hall is  described as  ‘A beautiful Grade II* Queen Anne country house set in rolling parkland’ by Historic Houses Association; ‘important’ and ‘one of the finest stately homes in Shropshire’ by Savills Estate Agents; and ‘One of Shropshire’s most cherished houses’ by County Life Magazine.
  • A heritage and horticultural destination for travel groups at Oakley Hall Park which offers tours as part of the Historic Houses and Gardens Scheme




  • No significant material changes have been made, only small changes to try and satisfy the independent reviews previously under taken by Shropshire Council & Pegasus, such as – definition of land type/correction of the definition of visual receptors/ further photos of VPs/Screening
  • The applicant states that the impact of the development is not significant on the receiving landscape and area.
  • But we believe that the site is a visual intrusion and can be seem from many different view points.
  • Since the initial application, the applicant has submitted further landscaping (over 13,000 trees and other shrubs) to try mitigate magnitude of development. Included is unsympathetic block planting which completely changes the current landscape classified as timbered pastures – a very rare type of landscape in the U.K. which should be preserved!
  • This proposal is NOT a diversification of an existing farm business (core strategy CS5)



The proposed development has an impact for for walkers, horse riders, cyclists, nature enthusiasts, photographers and those taking regular exercise who all use the public footpaths and bridleways around the proposed development site.

The local area of Betton and Norton-in-Hales significantly contributes towards the local visitor economy see some examples below:

  • Annual Equestrian Horse Trials at Brand Hall.
  • Wildlife Tourism at Shropshire Photography Wildlife Hides located at Oakley Park for nature and wildlife enthusiasts:
  • A heritage and horticultural destination for travel groups at Oakley Hall Park which offers tours as part of the Historic Houses and Gardens Scheme.
  • Weddings: Oakley Hall is an approved licensed venue with Staffordshire County Council.
  • Norton-In-Hales Cricket Club whom also host wedding receptions.
  • Greenhill Farm (near Betton) – a registered site with the UK Caravan and Motorhome Club.
  • As a contributor to fringe events that take place during the local award winning Ginger and Spice Festival’.
  • Heritage tourism at St Chad’s Church Norton-In-Hales linked to the Cotton family tomb designed by England’s first significant architect Inigo Jones. St Chad’s Church is also part of the Shropshire Historic Churches Association.
  • A destination for food and drink visitor sector: both the Hinds Head Pub and Restaurant (owned by the local community) and pop-up dining experiences at Oakley Hall & the village hall.
  • A destination for recreation: cyclists– cycle network 552 and also promoted on Route 4 within the Market Drayton Cycle Rides.
  • A popular destination for walkers and ramblers.
  • Horticultural tourism visits to Shropshire’s Best Kept Village – RHS Britain in Bloom Winner.
  • Parish Festival in Norton-In-Hales and numerous off shoot events such as the Jazz in the cloisters/beer festival.
  • Heritage and wildlife walks and talks in and around the area with local and national experts.
  • Use of Local B&Bs, see Air BnB.


Click here to read about the Impact on Oakley Hall and Park

Ecology – Hedgerow

To make way for a new entrance and splay to the proposed site, the applicant proposes to rip out 150m of historic hedgerow which contains over 10 native woody species, numerous habitats for wildlife and signs of historic hedge laying.

As the hedge includes over 7 native woody species and signs of historic hedge laying, it may well fall under protection of the Hedgerow Regulation Act 1997.

We will be calling for a full survey, which to date, has not been done by the applicant. 

Ecology – Otters

We have video and photographic evidence (see below) of otters on the Tern River, very close to the proposed development site. We submitted this information to Shropshire Council and subsequently, the applicant has included a very short survey in the revised ecology report.

The survey concludes that as no fields sign were observed on site on the day of the survey, the site is unsuitable for forging or breeding otters!

We know this is not the case. The founder and chair of the UK Wild Otter Trust, Dave Webb, previously expressed his concerns to Shropshire Planning – see here and will be doing so again. He is also coming to talk to us on 23rd April 2019 – more info later.

Did the survey actually take place?
We are not sure if the survey actually went ahead as there is no evidence to show this: no map of the route surveyed, no target notes with grid references showing areas of the locations of potential breeding sites & resting sites.

Serious Threat to Otter Habitat
The Otters and their habitats would be under very serious threat if this kind of intensive poultry development went ahead. The potential risk of pollution from run off from 32,000 free ranging birds and their excrement into the Brook, River Tern and water course would be catastrophic for Otters and other wildlife. 

Otters are extremely sensitive creatures and even small changes in scent and odour can change their behaviour put their habitat under threat. 

We will be asking for another Otter survey to take place. 

Otters are protected under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.


Read about Hedgerows here