Unless UK ministers do something to accelerate the planning process for new chicken farms, supermarkets across the country will soon be unable to meet rising demand without imports. According to Andrew Large, a member of the British Poultry Council, the country is running out of space to rear chickens and planning curbs are making it extremely difficult to "Buy British."
In an interview for the Daily Telegraph, Large noted that poultry was projected to account for over 50% of UK meat consumption in 2014. Two decades ago, the proportion was slightly over one-third. The nation's daily chicken consumption amounts to 2.2 million birds and 70% of those are locally reared.
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Large went on to warn that poultry farm construction was taking a massive hit as a result of delays in planning permission or refusals to grant permission. There are cases when it takes over 18 months to get a decision when it should be reached in no more than 13 weeks. Such inordinate delays are forcing developers to abandon planned projects.
It does not help that local communities are putting more obstacles in the way of new farm developments, Large also told the newspaper. Driven by various "preconceptions," communities are protesting against new facilities and further aggravating the problem. But the concerns they raise are outdated, according to Large, who listed among the most commonly cited ones noise, smell and additional traffic.