Ben Fearon has lodged a planning application to erect four new broiler poultry sheds at his farm in Portadown, Co Armagh. The proposed development includes eight feed bins, two gas tanks, two boilers and an underground wash tank. It would more than double the farm's capacity to a total of 281,000 birds.

Grower expansion programme

The planning application references Moy Park's grower expansion programme. The processor's call to farmers to invest in additional production capacity targeted the construction of 400 new poultry houses on NI farms over two years when it was launched in late 2014.

Recent planning applications show that the expansion drive is still going strong under Moy Park's new owners Pilgrim's Pride. Two other projects each seeking planning permission for two sheds containing 74,000 broilers directly referenced Moy Park's plan in recent months – one in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone last September and another in Katesbridge, Co Down last month.

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