A proposed extension to a poultry farm in Over Kellet, Carnforth, located near several sensitive sites, presented concern to Lancaster County Council with regard to the potential impact from ammonia and nitrogen deposition. Miller Goodall was brought in by the architects to carry out screening assessments in relation to the development.


The existing farm included a large laying unit with capacity for 12,000 birds and adjacent free-range foraging pens. The proposed extension included the relocation of an existing machine and straw storage building, erection of a new multi-layer free-range laying unit for up to 32,000 birds and erection of two bulk feed bins. Natural England had been consulted by the local authority and had advised that due to the farm’s proximity to European designated sites, Ramsar wetland sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), there was potential for emission of nitrogen and ammonia from the new unit to impact negatively on the area. This meant that an initial screening for air quality impacts was required prior to determination of the application.


We used the Simple Calculation of Atmospheric Impact Limits (SCAIL) screening tool to assess the impact of the proposed poultry unit in terms of nitrogen and ammonia deposition on surrounding designated sites. Results showed that the threshold above which the need for a detailed assessment is required was not exceeded and the proposed poultry unit would have an insignificant effect on nearby designated sites.

Action and outcome

There was no need to progress to a detailed assessment and planning permission was granted for the development.

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