Proposal for East End chicken farm development rejected

An application for an $800,000 chicken farm in the East End has been refused by the Central Planning Authority.

This is the second time the Authority has rejected the application for a commercial egg-processing plant and associated structures on 10.7 acres on Sunnyvale Road, after considering supplementary information provided by the applicant, Toepaz Ltd., objections by nearby residents, and comments from government agencies.

Initial plans for the chicken farm had been approved in May 2018, but similar plans to build the farm on a different plot of land, outside of the East End fresh water lens, were denied by the Central Planning Authority in November 2018 in the wake of objections by residents and issues raised by the Water Authority – Cayman and the Department of Environmental Health.

Toepaz contested that decision with the Planning Appeals Tribunal, which sent the application back to the CPA for a new hearing after ruling there had been a “breach of natural justice” because inadmissible letters of objection were considered by the Authority.

A review by the Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Service Unit had found that “the proposed design and associated waste management and contingency plans are satisfactory for the type of operation proposed”.

The Department of Environmental Health stated it had “no objections to the proposed in principle”. It had asked for certain information about equipment and facilities related to food service and disposal of dead chickens.

Toepaz had agreed to comply with conditions of the necessary Water Authority permits if the development was approved.

In its supplementary letter to the CPA, Toepaz outlined the ways in which it had addressed environmental, social and governance issues, including the company’s purchase of an alternative property outside of the East End fresh water lens in response to Department of Agriculture and Water Authority concerns about possible contamination.

The company also addressed noise, traffic and odour concerns, as well as concerns about property values and hurricane preparedness, including the construction of chicken houses rated for wind speeds up to 150 mph.

The CPA minutes for the July meeting when the application was refused were not available.

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