New pheasant hatchery factory could replace redundant Moy Park chicken site at Soham if planners agree
A former chicken hatchery at Soham – on the market for £750,000 – and that once produced up to 20 million chicks a year could switch to rearing pheasants.
Plans are now before East Cambs District Council to hatching a different bird and with seasonal implications that means weekly production of 250,000 birds but only for 15 weeks a year.
The seven acre site at Broad Piece would involve similar methods of production but comprising a single production cycle in a year as opposed to the continuous cycle of production of chickens.
The site was originally developed in the 1960s and comprises a hatchery building, associated timber buildings and three houses but recently ceased trading following a rationalisation scheme by Moy Park. The sale is dependent on change of use – a covenant prevents any future buyer using it for hatching chickens.
If permission is given the hatchery will employ the equivalent of five full time staff and the company running it say it will bring “significant opportunities to strengthen the rural economy by diversifying the traditional agriculture economy in the area”.