Free-living poultry fans will appreciate the news that a farm has been approved for more than 60,000 chickens.

Broomfield Farm, near Thornton Bridge, has been granted permission to pursue plans to build a free-range egg production facility and an access road that will house a maximum of 64,000 birds.

The planning documents state that the chicken farm will create two new full-time positions.

According to the Council documents, chickens and their eggs must have at least one hectare of land to be classified as "free-range" and meet the RSPCA Freedom Food requirements.

This means that Broomfield Farm will encompass 32 hectares of farmland over which the chickens can roam.

Both the Harrogate Borough Council and the Kirby Hill Parish Council have declared their support for the move. The previous report says that development was a suitable use of otherwise unoccupied agricultural land.

The proposed building will be a steel frame construction with an olive green lining on the roof and walls.

In approving the plans, the city council said the development would have no unacceptable impact on the local landscape, housing quality, archeology or traffic safety.

Moreover, the extension would contribute to the "rural economy" and create additional jobs, with the Council taking the view that it fulfills the three planning dimensions of economic, social and environmental impact.

Lachlan Leeming, local democracy reporter