How to oppose planning applications

Compassion in World Farming has successfully campaigned to halt the construction of a huge industrial dairy farm in Lincolnshire. The proposed Nocton "super-dairy" would have been unprecedented in its scale (within the UK) and would have had far reaching negative implications for animal welfare and the future of the British dairy industry.

Compassion does not have the resources to fight every single planning application for a factory farm on a one-by-one basis. The good news is that, if you know that an industrial farm is planned for your area, as a local resident you are best placed to make a difference.

Objecting to planning applications

As a UK resident, you have the power to influence planning decisions by submitting an objection to your local authority. You can also encourage other residents to submit their own objection.

Be specific and be relevant

In order to be taken into consideration, your objection must relate only to the specific application and be based on relevant planning matters, which include:

  • Ways in which the application departs from the approved development plan for the area
  • How the plans fail to fit in with their surroundings in terms of their design and use
  • Impact on parking, traffic and road safety
  • Levels of noise and any general disturbance that the plans would cause to local residents
  • Environmental impact of the plans.

Can you object to an application on animal welfare grounds?

As yet, animal welfare is not recognised as a planning issue, so isn’t relevant for inclusion in your objection. However, you can of course raise animal welfare issues in your publicity locally, which will increase awareness of the plight of factory farmed animals amongst residents.

Supporting information

You can find out more about the detrimental impacts of factory farming – for animals, humans, and the environment – in our Beyond Factory Farming and Eating the Planet reports. A wide range of free reports and briefings on specific topics are available in our Research section.

You can read Compassion’s formal objection to Nocton Dairies, which was drafted for us by a planning consultant.

Outside the UK

Planning law may vary from country to country. This article refers to the UK situation only, however the basic principles may well be similar elsewhere.

Let us know how you get on

If you take action to oppose a factory farm near you, we are interested to hear what happens. Please let us know by contacting our Supporter Engagement Team.


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