A campaign group set up to oppose plans for an animal rendering plant is to stage a demonstration march from the site earmarked for the facility.

Residents and business owners have concerns about the impact the development at Villa Farm, Norton Disney, could have on the area.

Witham Valley Preservation Group has organised the march  on December 30 at 10am, from Villa Farm to Norton Disney.

Spokesman Mr David Harrison said there had been a strong reaction in the community against the proposals for the animal by-products processing facility.

Concerns about the plant and its operational processes had been voiced at public meetings.

“We find it very hard to believe there are not better sites for this development,” he said.

“We are struggling to identify any benefits it would bring.

“Instead, we argue this would have a detrimental impact on the economy as local tourism businesses would suffer.”

Mr Gary Hancock, of applicants Lincoln Proteins Ltd (A. Hughes and Son) said: “Since the plans were announced in October, we have met with a significant number of local people as part of the public consultation.

“This has included representatives from ten parish councils, Hill Holt Wood and Witham Valley Care Group; MPs; and people who live close to the proposed site.

“The meetings have been informative and the feedback received useful. We are still reviewing comments from the community and aim to submit a planning application for the development in the new year.”

'Worries over the environmental impact'

The preservation group said Villa Farm was a key gateway to Lincolnshire and an industrial plant with a 25-metre chimney in the middle of an agricultural area would be an unfortunate sight for visitors.

The group said the proposed site and surrounding area was of historical important and included the remains of a Roman villa, which was a protected ancient monument.

There were also concerns about access from the A46.

Mr Harrison said: “We have worries over the environmental impact of this proposed development, such as noise, smell and the impact on wildlife.

“Our local communities are angry and concerned. Our message is that they (the applicants) are not wanted or needed here. Go to an industrial estate instead.”

Newark MP Mr Robert Jenrick is working with Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Caroline Jordan to oppose the planned application,

He said the earmarked site was identified as agricultural land in North Kesteven District Council’s development plan. He said there were concerns about extra traffic and smells.

The MPs will be working with residents to oppose the plan and to encourage the applicant to find a different location.

Mr Jenrick said: “I understand a rendering plan has to go somewhere, but there is no good reason why it should be built in this location.”

Mr Jenrick said he had already received more than 100 letters and emails from people concerned about the plan.