Slurry lagoon plan outrage

Coun Alan Whittaker at Boyes Farm, Ulnes Walton, where a slurry lagoon plan is proposed.
Coun Alan Whittaker at Boyes Farm, Ulnes Walton, where a slurry lagoon plan is proposed.

A “lagoon” more than half the size of a football pitch and containing over a million gallons of slurry is being proposed by a local farmer.

Farmer Andrew Deacon, of Boyes Farm, at the corner of Leyland Lane/Southport Road, Ulnes Walton, is seeking planning permission to construct the open lagoon only 110 yards from nearby properties.

Former local councillor Alan Whittaker, who is the current Chairman of the Friends of the River Yarrow, has been asked by local residents to take issue with the proposal which has been submitted to Chorley Council’s planning department.

Mr Whittaker said: “This could represent both a serious loss of amenity to residents to properties within several square miles through smells, flies and health hazards, but also an environmental disaster to the nearby water courses of Holker Brook and the rivers Lostock and Yarrow.

“I believe the application should be thrown out and either abandoned, or the slurry contained in enclosed containers.

“It might cost the applicant more, but so be it.”

One local resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “Already there is a serious smell problem in this area and this could make our lives a misery.

“Other areas in Croston, Eccleston, Euxton and the Wymott Estate on Ulnes Walton Lane are very likely to be seriously affected.”

Some nearby residents have provided Chorley Council with scientific information about the environmental and health issues.

They say they have noted with some “cynicism” Lancashire County Council’s proud boast about rural Chorley being a “Breath of Fresh air”.

Mr Whittaker added: “The local borough councillors have been very quiet about this.

“Perhaps residents in Lostock should ask councillors Dalton and Dickinson what they intend to do about it.”

Ward councillor Doreen Dickinson said: “There is quite a bit of protest, but I can see both sides of the argument.

She said she wanted concerned residents to get an idea of the plans, adding: “I have taken a lot of those who were complaining to have a look at a slurry lagoon.”

Coun John Dalton said: “There is a lot of outpouring of disquiet among the local Ulnes Walton community because of the size and location of the slurry pit proposed.

“Myself and a couple of other parish councillors went on a site visit to Broughton to have a look at a site that was already in situ. It was a positive feedback.”

The Deacon family said in a statement: “We are a small farm in a rural area and we are not doing this from choice.

“It’s government legislation we have to have enough storage and we have liaised with the Environment Agency and planning department and any more information is already with the planning department officer.”