The Say No to Caviar Farm campaign

A proposal to build a caviar farm in the Lewes district has been unanimously rejected by a Lewes District Council planning committee.

The proposal to place the farm near the hamlet of Chiltington Lane has caused outrage from residents in the area for months.

As a result, they started the Say No to Caviar Farm campaign, and argued the project would scar the landscape around the hamlet.

But developer Ken Benning – who launched Exmoor Caviar in 2010 – has insisted the farm would be a good thing for the community, generating revenue, and that earthworks to dig the land up would only take six weeks.

He said:

“It has been very evident that the issue was never about the farm, it was about being next door to their property and there was no environmental issue.

“The appeal process is a long process, and this year has been very difficult for my family.

“We have come under a lot of scrutiny, unfair scrutiny.”

Janet Downes from the opposition group said they were ‘delighted’ with the decision, and added:

“It has been very difficult here for a lot of people so I can appreciate that he (Mr Benning) is disappointed and upset but I think he lacks empathy for anybody else in these circumstances.”