An Angus farm is planning an extension that would see it house 64,000 hens.
The proposal from Cononsyth Farm could see a pair of 32,000-capacity free range hen sheds built, primarily for the production of eggs, on the land east of Summerhill House, Guthrie. It was discussed by Angus Council’s development standards committee.
Concerns over waste were discussed by the committee but councillors were told the issue will be accounted for.
A proposal of application notice has been submitted, outlining the intentions for the land but a full planning application has not yet been lodged.
Potential issues raised by Angus Council officers in a report presented to councillors include the loss of prime agricultural land and the possibility of noise and odour disturbing nearby residents.
Councillor Brenda Durno, who represents the Arbroath East and Lunan ward, asked for greater clarity on how the animal waste will be processed.
She said: “I know this is just a pre-application. I would like to know… where is all the actual waste going to go from the hens?
“Obviously there is going to be a lot of hens. Will it be taken away from the site, or will it be buried on the site? I have concerns… because there will be a lot of waste.
“There’s going to have to be a lot of food storage as well. It will need to be carefully stored, as well as the waste.”
Committee convener David Lumgair said waste from the hens could be used for manure and that it may be something local farmers would be interested in procuring.
The applicants are obliged to carry out public consultation before officially lodging their plans.
Ms Dunro added the site could be used for educational purposes. Local school trips could help youngsters gain a better understanding of where eggs come from, she suggested.
Councillor Gavin Nicol, who is also a member of the National Farmers’ Union, tried to assuage concerns over waste.
He said: “Farmers in Great Britain have a high standard of welfare for their livestock and I have no worries with this application.
“I think it will be brought to the high standards of the farming in Great Britain.”
Councillor Kenny Braes said: “When it comes to the application, some of the things I will be looking for revolve around the environmental aspect of this proposed operation.
“I would be looking for a high standard of mitigation concerning the development in that regard.”