Villagers concerned about a proposed dairy farm for 350 cows have said they are fighting a “David and Goliath” battle to stop it.

Under plans submitted to Breckland Council, Wellingham, near Fakenham, could be the site of a new dairy unit, which would incorporate a cattle house, milking parlour, yard building, general purpose building, feed store, feed bin, milk silo, silage clamps, slurry lagoon, attenuation pond, hardstandings and new access.

The applicants - Lincolnshire-based George Thompson (Farms) Ltd - have also requested permission to build a house for a worker to live in.

But more than 40 letters of objection have been sent by residents concerned about the suitability of the area’s narrow country lanes, the visual impact, and the increased traffic endangering walkers and cyclists.

Six letters of support were sent in.

Wellingham parish councillor Ross Donaldson said the unit would be “the most dreadful monstrosity” and that the community was engaged in a "classic case of David and Goliath" in trying to stop it.

“Everybody is flabbergasted that anybody should even suggest it,” he said, adding that the village had not been consulted about the plan before the application was put in.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Brown & Co, serving as agent to the applicant, said George Thompson (Farms) Ltd was aware of the concerns, but has “worked constructively” to ensure it complies with planning policies.

She said the scheme would provide local employment and help meet “the growing demand for UK milk following the demise of many dairy farms across the country”.

The site would not dominate the landscape, she said, and would be “a good distance away from” houses to avoid smell issues.

Traffic generation would not be significant, she added, and there was “no need for traffic to pass through Wellingham or Tittleshall.”

Local MP George Freeman has, on his website, urged the community to give the council their views about the application.

“The more residents and businesses that have their say, the more likely it is that the community will get the decision it wants,” he wrote.

Breckland Council’s planning committee will decide whether to grant the project permission on Tuesday, February 15.

Officers are recommending it be approved, with the exception of the worker’s dwelling house, which they are advising be refused because of its exposure to odour.