A Hadlow Down farmer is hoping to expand his free range egg production enterprise by building a new unit for 16,000 hens.
There is already a unit for 7,000 birds at Five Chimneys Farm, Curtains Hill, and another one for 12,000 birds is under construction. The latest proposal would take the total number of hens on the holding from 19,000 to 35,000.
A design and access statement submitted to Wealden Council with a planning application, from M. Osborn, says free range egg production is an extensive and welfare friendly form of egg production and is a rapidly expanding market in the United Kingdom.
Currently, the statement says, 60 per cent of the UK egg market comes from battery cage production systems but those, in their present form, are outlawed in the UK from 2012 and so within the space of the next four years 60 per cent of national egg production will be removed from the supply side.
If approved the new unit at Five Chimneys Farm would accommodate hens and associated egg collection and packing facilities and feed bins.
The birds would have direct access to the range area from one side of the building between the hours of 8am and 9pm.
Read more about the plans on the Wealden Council website by following our link and then clicking on the Design and Access Statement.