AN ARSON attack which killed 4,000 chickens has prompted plans for a family home on the site to keep the hens safe in future.

Farmer Ben Lay is hoping to build the four-bedroom home for his chicken worker to live on-site and prevent future attacks on the 8,000 egg-laying hens.

In his planning application for the new house Mr Lay said: "We would argue that there is an essential need to house a worker on site.

"During the pre-application advice process we submitted evidence proving an arson attack on the site which resulted in the death of 4,000 laying hens and the destruction of their accommodation."

Mr Lay said the arson attack 'constitutes the sole reason for this application'.

The site in question is on the A415 just to the west of Millets Farm Centre near Abingdon.

Mr Lay explained: "My client at present lives two miles away in Fifield village and therefore cannot oversee the safety of these birds out of business hours as the site is then deserted.

"We feel this fulfils part of the evidence required for the need for an essential worker to live permanently on site."

Addressing planners at Vale of White Horse District Council Mr Lay concluded: "In order to protect my clients business and the lives of his hens we feel it is imperative this application is granted.

"The proposed dwelling would almost certainly enhance the visual look of the site and have a minor impact on the visual impact locally."

Members of public can see the plans online at using planning application reference number P18/V0254/FUL