An objection against a controversial 26,000 bird poultry farm in Murthly has been lodged by Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (PKHT) on the basis it would impact the area’s natural setting.
The conservation body has claimed the site is “archaeologically sensitive” and international company Aviagen’s proposed chicken farm by would have a negative affect on the Ha Ha feature that defines the area.
A Ha Ha is a negative wall or ditch historic landscape feature, often enclosing an open space, that removes the need for barriers and allows open views across a landscape.
A PKHT spokesperson said: “The Ha Ha as a designed landscape feature was not created to house industrial units but most likely as a livestock proof barrier that did not obstruct the landscape setting and enabled open views.
“This application threatens not only the preservation of the Ha Ha, both physically from
proposed levelling of the ground, but also has negative implications for the historic landscape in which it sits more widely.
“PKHT believe that in this instance development should not be permitted
and priority should be given to preserving the features setting, overall shape, tree surround and all physical elements such as the wall and ditch.”
John Evans, chairman of Keep Murthly Beautiful and leader of campaign group Druids Park Community Company, highlighted the objection from the conservation organisation as a further reason for the proposal to be rejected.
“Murthly residents who are campaigning to avoid an Industrial Poultry Unit (IPU) the size of McDiarmid Park being built close to the local primary school have learned this week from Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust that the proposed site has very significant historical value that will be destroyed by the building of the plant.”
Nearly 250 locals have already objected to the proposal with the majority raising public health fears over the proximity of the chicken farm to the nearby primary school and the links to pneumonia for those living within 1.15 kilometres of an industrial poultry unit.
Campaigners have already called for the application to be halted after NHS Tayside said they were unable to respond to the proposal due to the strain on the service caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Aviagen has moved to allay concerns since the plans were unveiled, saying: “We have been safely and successfully operating farms in Perthshire and wider Scotland for over 60 years and can reassure those who have raised concerns that this will be a state of the art, energy efficient farm designed for the purpose of rearing breeding birds, maximising their welfare and health and at the same time minimising the impact on the environment.”