New milk farm plans cause anger in village

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EMOTIONS were running high in a Chorley village as more than 60 residents attended a public meeting to discuss controversial plans at a milk farm.

Coppull Village Hall on Chapel Lane was packed out by people to voice their concerns about Yew Tree House Farm on Coppull Hall Lane operating without any planning permission.

A planning inquiry will decide their fate on May 24 at Chorley Town Hall after owners J & B Woodcock and Sons appealed after Chorley Council issued enforcement action to knock down some of the buildings.

Now, nearby residents have been rocked by news that the owners have applied for a certificate of lawfulness for agricultural milk processing and industrial use.

The meeting was held on March 17 and Coun Ken Ball, who represents the Coppull area, is outraged about the plans.

He said: “Nobody is against people employing residents in the village in fact we applaud it.

“However, what they should have done like everyone else and applied for planning permission. We are angry that they have bypassed the whole planning system by applying for this certificate of lawfulness which is wrong.

“One of our worries is that they have outgrown the farm and in the past two years since they took over production has shot up. If this happens we will have another industrial site in Coppull even though it is on greenbelt land.”

One of the main complaints of concerned villagers was about the volume of Heavy Goods Vehicles using the roads even at weekends.

Coun Ball, who chaired the meeting, said: “A survey was completed by Lancashire County Council and they found that 80 Heavy Goods Vehicles use the road.

“Some of them are more than 32 tonnes and 30-foot long.

“I think that is too many articulated lorries for a small village like Coppull especially on narrow lanes.

“The infrastructure on our roads does not sustain the traffic using it.”

There was a lively debate during the three-quarters of an hour meeting with people from the farm in the crowd.

Kim Begley, resident of Goose Green Avenue, who attended the meeting, said: “It has been going on for two years. I think that the majority of the people at the meeting were objecting to what the farm is doing. As long as they continue to put in applications we will battle to stop it.”

The inquiry comes after J & B Woodcock and Sons lodged appeals against the council for the farm not having planning permission for the erection of a building and change of use for a building to process milk.

Despite numerous attempts to contact J & B Woodcock and Sons, the owners were unavailable for comment.