Retrospective consent for farming activity

The Central Otago District Council has granted Quinten and Bronwynn Pringle retrospective land use consent for a free-range hen farm near Ettrick.

The couple already had 340 hens in two henhouses and sought consent to eventually increase that number to 2000 hens and at least six henhouses, as well as authorisation for a selling place for the eggs.

The land where the farm is located is zoned rural but lies next to the Ettrick residential area.

Council planning and environmental manager Louise van der Voort said the Cental Otago District Plan rules that intensive farming, which this is deemed to be, is a discretionary activity, if carried on within 2km of an urban area or 500m of any isolated rural residence.

There are 55 residential sections within 2km and four isolated rural dwellings within 500m of the property.

The owners of those sections were notified of the application and 11 made submissions, two opposing the proposal.

The opposing submissions, by Stewart and Vanja Bain and Patrick Niederer, both cited odour as a reason for opposition.

Mr and Mrs Pringle told a council hearings panel earlier this month that they had systems in place that effectively reduced the odour, including placing wood shavings under the henhouses to absorb droppings and odour.

They told the panel the life of the hens on the farm would be about 60 weeks and at the end of that time, the manure and wood mix would be removed from the henhouses, applied to the ground and dug in the same day. If any odour did occur, it would be of short duration.

In the decision on the application, Ms van der Voort wrote "the council is satisfied that the current proposal can be distinguished from the application of concentrated chicken manure which occurred at Ettrick some time in the past.

"The council's conclusion is that any effects in amenity values in terms of visual effects, noise and odour are unlikely to be significant provided appropriate conditions of consent are adhered to."

There were 14 conditions attached to the consent which included. -

• The shelter belt which screens the henhouses from the residential area be retained.

• The farming activity and the spreading of manure shall occur to the north of the shelter belt (the residential area is to the south).

• No roosters are to be kept as part of the farming activity.

• The Pringles are to ensure the wood shavings in the hen houses are monitored and additional shavings are added, as required, to avoid odour effects.

• A minimum of four parking spaces shall be formed next to where the Pringles intend to sell the eggs and that selling place shall only be accessed from Marsh Rd, not State Highway 8.



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