Ministry of Justice objects to Foston pig unit
THE controversial Foston pig farm planned for Derbyshire has been dealt another blow after it was opposed by the Ministry of Justice.
The site for the proposed 25,000 pig unit is situated adjacent to the listed Foston Hall women’s prison.
Campaigners said the Ministry cited ‘operational traffic, odour, noise, impact on the listed Foston Hall [and] operational implications for emergency procedures’.
The letter of objection said: “The Secretary of State is responsible for the safe operation of prison property, as well as those who are accommodated in or are users of its property.”
The Ministry of Justice has previously refused to take a position regarding the proposal while it conducted a national female prison estate review.
As part of the plans developed from the review, HMP Foston will be expanded and refurbished to accommodate the planned closure of female prisons in Yorkshire and Kent.
This will include the establishment of a specialist unit for particularly vulnerable women.
The majority of the investment will come from health services, as the facility is re-purposed as a ‘resettlement’ prison.
Foston campaigners said a source close to the prison was pessimistic about the prospects for Midland Pig Producers (owned by the Leavesley Group) and the proposal.
“The planned size of this farm in such close proximity to a large community of often very vulnerable women with complex health issues cannot now in any way be ignored,” the campaigners said.
Jim Davies, spokesman for the Foston Community Forum, added: “A facility of this size and nature is an industrial site. We have no reason to believe it will not release harmful emissions and create an environment for prisoners, prison staff and local residents conducive to stress and stress-related disorders.
“Clearly it is not appropriate for it be located within 100m of anyone - but particularly not vulnerable female prisoners, who would be unable to move away. Derbyshire County Council must recognise what we all know to be unacceptable and deny planning permission.”
Foston Community Forum has been campaigning against the proposed pig farm on the basis of health fears, traffic volume, odour, degraded quality of life and the undermining of smaller scale farms regionally and nationally.
More than 30,000 people have signed a national petition against the plans, opposing the application on environmental, public health and animal welfare grounds.