FRIDAY’S has submitted a planning application for a major new free-range egg farm near Marden, Kent.

It will comprise three 262m by 31m poultry houses on a 96ha site which Fridays propose to develop and enhance with extensive tree planting and other environmental improvements.

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The Kent-based egg packer has strived to pitch the development in a positive light and has published a website giving details about the proposed farm.

On it, Friday’s seeks to outline how the farm will be carbon neutral, and that 20ha of new native species woodland will be planted.

The firm would also create a riverside walk along the banks of the nearby River Beult, it said.

Welfare standards

“The proposed three hen houses will cover 2.5% of the farming area,” it says. “The size of the houses and the supporting range areas are dictated by the RSPCA, DEFRA and EU animal welfare standards on a per hen basis for free-range farming.

“The farm will operate to the RSPCA’s assured free-range hen farming certification and would produce approximately 60 million UK free-range eggs a year.”

But local residents are expected to oppose the development because of concerns over traffic movements and manure run-off.