RESIDENTS who lost their bid to stop a farmer putting a slurry lagoon near their village say they may take legal advice after the plans were approved.
Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee had twice deferred a decision on the application by Tomkinsons Farms.
The lagoon is needed to comply with European legislation but residents said it should be sited nearer to the farm rather than two miles away.
Members of the planning panel were told they had to make a decision when they met last week. They had already deferred a decision to allow the applicant Fred Tomkinson to speak to residents.
For the objectors Dr Bruno Broughton told the committee residents had suggested an alternative site but were told it was going where the plans indicated.
“In other words we can either like it or lump it,” he said.
Agent for the application Chris Harvey said: “Non Compliance will see Tomkinson Farms prosecuted. The committee must make a decision tonight. From the information they have seen they should support the application. The applicant agrees to comply with all the conditions suggested.”
Ward Councillor Mike Smith said: “There’s considerable local opposition.
Residents accept the farm has to have a slurry lagoon but they simply can’t understand why it has to be close to their homes.”
Proposing the application was permitted Councillor Geoff Rowlands said: “It’s very difficult to go against the officers’ recommendation. All these statutory consultees have said they have no objection.”
Councillor Bill Simpson said: “The farmer is in a difficult situation with this.
He’s got to run his farm economically and the best way so he can go forward and comply with European legislation.
On planning grounds we have no way at all we can refuse this.” Councillor Ann Kelly said: “There hasn’t been a great deal of effort to find another place for this slurry lagoon but I do accept that on planning issues there’s not a great deal of reasons to refuse it.
Unfortunately though I’m very mindful of the views of the residents I think we have to go along with it.” The application was passed unanimously subject to conditions including the installation of clay lining and the provision of passing places on the road.
After the meeting Dr Broughton said: “If it proceeds it will be a permanent blot on the village of Moreton with which residents will have to live for ever more.
“We will be meeting to consider our next moves and we may seek legal advice on what we do next.”