10:30AM, Wednesday 10 August 2016
Campaigners against plans for a chicken farm in Cookham have been left spitting feathers after reports that livestock had been delivered.
It is thought that birds were delivered to the site off Strande Lane on Tuesday morning.
The news comes despite an enforcement order being served on the land owner, Samuel Driver, ordering him to dismantle the shed which is expected to house the chickens.
However, despite complaints made to the Royal Borough, officers have said their hands are tied as the order does not come into effect until Thursday, August 25, while the use of the land for agricultural purposes is lawful, meaning ‘no permission is required from the local planning authority to keep livestock on the land’.
Such is the interest generated that the issue was raised at Tuesday’s meeting of the Cookham Parish Council Planning committee.
John White, who lives in Lightlands Lane, opposite the site, said he and other campaigners had sympathy with the Royal Borough because of the rules preventing them taking action.
He added it was expected Mr Driver would appeal against the terms of the enforcement notice shortly before it was due to expire, potentially starting a lengthy legal process, during which he would be able to continue his operations.
That view was echoed by the committee chairman Cllr MJ Saunders, who said it was important no action was taken ‘impetuously’ that could further the land owner’s cause.
Following a question from Cllr Mandy Brar if ‘anything else’ could be done by the Royal Borough, he repeated his previous argument, adding flippantly: “You could just go out and shoot him, but I suspect you would end up in a cell.”
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