A resource consent bid for a chicken egg layer farm of 310,000 birds in rural south Auckland has been rejected because Auckland Council planning commissioners believe the potential odour would be offensive and objectionable.
In a reserved decision, after a hearing that drew protesters dressed as chickens and posing in giant cages, the panel said they had visited the applicant's existing smaller farm to gauge the odour close to the source.
The Craddock Farms proposal for a Patumahoe site was for colony farming as an alternative to battery cages, which were banned from being newly installed in New Zealand in 2012. The proposal was for 10 sheds, each holding 31,000 hens housed in 60 hen colonies stacked five high in three continuous rows.
Manure would be removed by conveyor belts running the length of the rows under each colony, turned on every three to five days.
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Conveyor belts would take the manure from the shed to a waiting truck.
Extraction fans would direct the discharged air upwards, which Stefan Craddock said would reduce the potential for odour.
He said poultry manure was spread in the wider area, in particular on neighbour Charlie Ng's land, which was between the proposed site and the market garden of an objector - the Wai Shing Brothers.
Panel chairman Dave Serjeant said its concern about odour was the only reason for rejecting resource consent.
The panel considered it would be offensive to the 60 to 300 workers on the Wai Shing property and regular visiting trade and educational delegations.