Chook sheds not that bad: proponent

The public perception of chicken farms is not keeping up with reality, a proponent of one such farm claims.

The statement came from Leon Byass, who supported chicken producer Gordon Barolo at a Murray Bridge development assessment panel meeting on Friday.

Mr Barolo was seeking approval for an expansion of his farm at Monarto.

Mr Byass said the industry was "suffering from public perceptions from 15 or 20 years ago".

Even after the expansion, he said, the farm would produce less manure and less of an odour, and would need fewer trucks to go in and out, than it had six years ago.

One reason was increased demand for smaller chickens, Mr Barolo said – more fit in a single truck.

Three neighbours who opposed the development won concessions including a requirement for extra trees to be planted around the new sheds.

One neighbour, Barry Wilson, said the existing tree plantings were "almonst non-existent" from some angles.

"Big business does the bare minimum to ensure compliance," he said.

"That galls me."

Nonetheless, the panel wound up approving the expansion after considering the advice of assessment officer Giulia Zillante.

"The development is not a new land use but rather the expansion of a well-established intensive animal-keeping facility," she said in her report.

"It must be reasonably expected that an existing suitable farming activity be able to expand the operations, with appropriate management provisions."

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