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Published: 2009-10-15 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has granted a resource consent to a Waihou chicken broiler farm operation which plans to double the size of its existing facility to a four-shed operation capable of rearing more than 220,000 birds in each rearing cycle.

In their decision on the consent application from Morris Farms Ltd for discharges to air, EW councilors Norm Barker and Andra Neeley noted arguments for and against the expansion of the facility.

But they said they were satisfied an expanded facility at the Ngutumunga Rd property could operate in a way that was consistent with relevant EW policy and plans.

"Potential adverse effects on air quality from the proposal have been sufficiently addressed via conditions of consent, so that the committee is confident any adverse effects identified will be avoided, remedied or mitigated."

Their findings also noted the "overall positive effects the activity will have for the community generally" and that there was general acceptance of the proposal by potentially affected parties.

However, the consent was granted for 15 years instead of the 25 years requested by the applicant.

One reason for this was that, while the new sheds would have state of the art ventilation technology, the older ones would not. The committee imposed a consent condition requiring Morris Farms to undertake a technology review at the 10th anniversary of the consent.

The EW hearing was a joint one with Matamata-Piako District Council, which has issued its own report.