How far away should pig and poultry buildings be located?
Austrian and German scientists have developed an empirical model to calculate appropriate distances from residential areas for livestock buildings to be situated.
The research is related to the increasing trend towards nimbyism – people welcome developments in principle, so long as they are ‘Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY)’.
Günther Schauberger of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria (Vetmeduni Vienna) and colleagues from the VDI in Germany wondered just how big is a back yard? The answer depends on a number of factors, they concluded, and they developed an empirical model to calculate appropriate distances from residential areas for livestock building to be sited.
The model has another significant advantage. As Schauberger notes, “The nice thing about it is that a quick calculation can be carried out on the back of an envelope.”
Such ‘quick and dirty’ calculations generally lead to an overestimation of the required separation but nevertheless provide a useful first indication. The results may never fully eliminate nimbyism. But they have a genuine potential to ensure that planning decisions – and any objections to them – are based on scientific criteria and can be debated in a constructive manner.
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