Family told 'no justification' for living in three static caravans on their nine acre poultry, fruit and veg farm at Wisbech St Mary

PUBLISHED: 17:31 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:31 23 January 2020

S & T Poultry of Wisbech St Mary are in dispute with Fenland planners over three static caravans which are home to the family that runs the nine acre enterprise. Picture; GOOGLE MAPS

S & T Poultry of Wisbech St Mary are in dispute with Fenland planners over three static caravans which are home to the family that runs the nine acre enterprise. Picture; GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

A family business whose working day can start at 6am feeding animals and finish up to 9pm in a hatchery, have been refused permission retain their mobile caravan homes on site.

The Wiggintons live in three static caravans on their nine acres small holding in New Drove, Wisbech St Mary, and have done so for some years.

But Fenland Council - supported by a recommendation for refusal by the parish council - wants them off.

The council has refused a retrospective planning application and although they say flood risk fears are not "insurmountable" as matters stand it forms part of the reasons for turning them down.

Planning officers say despite changes that could be made they are "obligated to consider the application before them.

"At present time the scheme does not satisfy either the sequential or exception test and as such as this aspect has to form part of the refusal recommendation".

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Through their agents Brown & Co, Stephen and Tina Wiggington - who run S & T Poultry - explained the diversity of their business and why the caravans are needed.

The couple explain they run the nine acres enterprise with their parents and other family members and have done so for the past 13 years.

Brown & Co say the business is mainly involved with poultry, fruit and vegetables and there is a need for a permanent on site presence.

The company says the Wiggintons (they produced accounts to prove it) have "through proactive management" built a sustainable business for the future.

"The retention of the existing temporary static caravans has become increasingly important to deal with all of the enterprises,"says Brown & Co. Allowing them to retain the caravans will provide direct access to farming operations.

"Given the nature of the livestock and poultry enterprises and their continued growth, having residents on site 24 hours a day will help advise, improve security and enhance animal welfare," says Brown & Co. Around 1000 birds are on site for egg and meat production at any one time.

There is also a growing pig enterprise and the Wiggintons have nearly 2,000 fruit trees, mostly Bramleys.

But council planners, whilst agreeing there is a need for a 24 hours presence, believes there is "no justification" for three residential units. As such it contravenes planning policy.

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