HUNDREDS of angry neighbours have objected to a plan to double the size of a piggery on a farm over fears the “sickening” smells will be made even worse.

Daniels Farm in Vicarage Lane in Claines has put forward plans to double the size of its 1,000-strong piggery but neighbours say it already smells terrible.

The large piggery at Daniels Farm – owned by North Claines parish councillor Peter Philips – was installed last year having been given the go-ahead by district council planners. A petition against the plan has gathered more than 1,100 signatures and more than 110 comments were submitted against the plan – the majority of which were objections.

Several complaints were made last year against the ‘disgusting’ smell from the farm which were investigated by the council.

Residents in Claines said complaints had continued to be made against the “offensive” smell and the effect it was having on children at the nearby schools. Several other objectors also raised concerns about the health of schoolchildren if the piggery was allowed to double in size.

Many other objectors were also concerned by the “dangerous” increase in traffic by heavy goods vehicles on narrow roads around the farm and schools.

In an objection to the council, one neighbour in Egg Lane said the “sickening” smell meant she could not sit outside when the wind was blowing a certain way.

More neighbours in Egg Lane said the potential impact of the smell was “theoretical” and did not represent reality and the “overwhelming” stench from the existing piggery should be addressed before allowing it double in size. The farm said the new building would be ventilated using ‘high-velocity’ fans and old buildings would be upgraded to reduce the smell and all manure would be used as fertiliser or sold to neighbouring farms.

The planning application said tests had been carried out which showed the smell was below the Environment Agency’s ‘moderately offensive’ level.

Other residents in Claines said the nearby Claines CE Primary School and RGS The Grange already had to put up with the “unbearable” smell and doubling the size of the piggery was unfair.

Claines CE Primary School headteacher Simon Gent formally objected to the plan. “There will be increased noise and odour and I have concerns over how the noxious emissions will be controlled on site,” he said. “This build and thereafter will increase traffic in the area, on already quite dangerous roads around our school.”