AROUND 60 people crowded in to Colwall Village Hall on Wednesday night to stand against plans for a chicken farm near the village.

Residents turned out in force at the meeting of Colwall Parish Council's planning and development committee to object to proposals to build four broiler rearing units on land at Chance's Pitch near the Wellington Inn, measuring around 10,000 square metres.

A number of issues were raised at the meeting regarding the application — which has been submitted by Phillip Houlbrooke — such as concerns about the smell from the chicken sheds, an increase in traffic, the noise from the sheds and the effect on the landscape.

Local resident Matt Lancaster said that if the application should be approved in future, it would have a "huge effect on tourism".

"Most tourists would come straight up the M50 and then they'll see this development. It will have a huge negative effect on tourism in the area," he said.

Also concerned about the impact on tourism and trade in the area is Giles Goodhew, the landlord of the Wellington Inn.

"The sheds, if built, will total the size of about two football pitches, and this is directly in my sight line and I'm based just below British Camp. We enjoy a rather splendid view here but if permission is given to build these the smell will be a major problem for the pub and for everybody living round here," he told your Malvern Gazette before the meeting.

Mr Goodhew, who has been landlord of the pub for nine years, added: "When you are up in the Malvern Hills you look down and you can see more beautiful rolling hills — and this is an Area of Natural Beauty — but these buildings will be a blot on the landscape. I imagine anyone walking the Malvern Hills — which I believe are the biggest tourist attraction in the West Midlands — won't want to be seeing this."

A number of residents also raised concerns about the effect on the water supply in the area and pollution should chicken manure be spread on the land, while a number of residents were angry that they had not been consulted about the application and only heard about it by chance.

At the end of the discussion, John Stock, chairman of the planning committee, said the parish council intended to object to the application.

Comments on the application must be submitted to Herefordshire Council by November 6.