COUNCIL planners have granted permission for a chicken shed “the size of a football field” to be built, despite concerns from a neighbouring farmer about it creating an unwelcome pong.

Douglas Scott, owner of Howden Farm, near Gifford, submitted a planning application in August for the erection of a poultry building and associated works there.

But David Orr, who owns neighbouring Greenlaw Farm, opposed the plans, citing the likely smell as a cause for concern.

Howden Farm was the subject of a controversial planning application four years ago, when Mr Scott was given permission to erect a chicken shed 92.5 metres long, which was extended in 2017.

Those plans received objections from neighbours, including Mr Orr, on the grounds of noise and smell pollution, which Mr Orr said was a concern for the current application too.

“I’m worried about the smells and everything,” he said.

“And this is within 300 metres of my house.”

The plans, approved last month, show an agricultural building 138.75m long, 29 metres wide and seven metres high.

A soil mound will be created, with trees planted on and around it to create a long-term screen.

But Mr Orr said: “They told me the trees will absorb the smells and they’ll grow.

“But I’m 75 and they’re not going to grow in my time.

“I’ve asked people to do with trees if they’ve ever heard of that before and they said they’ve never heard of that – trees absorbing the smells.”

A supporting statement backing the chicken shed plans said: “Two cars would enter and leave the site daily.

“The hens would be delivered on site as pullets at 14 weeks of age and they would be removed from the site at 80 weeks of age.

“We will seek to employ two new members of staff.”

A condition of the planning permission is that “odours associated with the proposed facility at closest receptors shall comply with SEPA guidelines for moderately offensive odours averaged over a one-year period”.

Sally Orr, Mr Orr’s daughter, added: “It’s just the size of the development and the potential number of chickens [that concerns us] – there’ll be up to 35,000 birds.

“I’m not very happy it’s been approved; there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of conditions and it’s just going to be an absolute blight.

“They say it shouldn’t smell and that if it does we have powers to investigate that at a later date, which to me sounds stupid.

“My mum and dad are old and my dad’s really concerned about their quality of life going forward.

“It’s all very well thinking about the welfare of the chickens but what about the welfare of the people surrounding the farm?”

The Courier’s attempts to contact Mr Scott for comment were unsuccessful.