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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Slurry lagoon bid backed despite 1,400 objections

Plans for a massive slurry lagoon which have triggered the biggest number of objections ever recorded by Carlisle City Council are being recommended for approval.

A total of 1,401 letters and emails of opposition to the lagoon – capable of holding two million gallons of slurry – were lodged with the authority.

The proposals, for land on the outskirts of Longtown, will go before councillors next week.

One of the objectors, Malcolm Ward, of Friars Court in Carlisle, believes the lagoon could put peoples’ health at risk.

He said: “The planning officer’s decision arises due to the failure of critical updates to planning laws relating to huge dairy slurry lagoons.

“These lagoons contain a host of pathogens, the most dangerous are e-coli, campylobacter, salmonella, listeria and cryptosporidium.

“Pathogens hit hardest those with a low immune system – like the young and elderly. The Longtown doctors have submitted written details of their concerns,” added Mr Ward.

“Professor Stuart Reid and Dr James Bell (objectors to the proposals) have expert knowledge of slurry lagoon pathogens dangers. The planning officer has taken as his pathogen guide the advice of agricultural and environment consultancy ADAS. Unfortunately the examples quoted by ADAS are based on pathogens flowing from manure heaps, pig stys and henhouses. ADAS wrongly contend there is the absence of authorities relating to huge slurry lagoons.”

The application for the proposed lagoon, near Scaurbank Wood, was submitted by Robin and Moira Fisher.

The lagoon would be 500m, less than a third of a mile, from Lovers Lane in Longtown, the nearest residential street.

In their application, the Fishers say they need the lagoon to “future proof” their business. A report to the council’s development control committee states a consultant had been brought in to assess health concerns raised by objectors.

It adds: “Given the orientation with the residential properties and the distance from the houses, no adverse impact on the health of residents would occur from the lagoon.”

The matter will be discussed by the city’s development control committee next Friday.

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