A MICHELIN-starred restaurant has backed plans for a building to house rare breed pigs. 

It would be erected at a farm off Tom Lane in Cowling, between Keighley and Skipton.

The applicant, farmer Chris Emmott, rears and sells British Saddleback, Oxford Sandy, and Black pigs because they are hardy, suited to the 'rough land' - and also for their meat.

The males are sold to restaurants, including The Angel at Hetton, The White Swan in Fence, and also to Wellocks Food Distribution, which deals with Michelin-starred restaurants across the UK.

In the application to North Yorkshire Council, it is stated that there are currently around 20 pigs on the land with piglets brought in and housed in temporary shelters.

It adds: "The applicant's intention is to breed and rear his own piglets off a retained herd of breeding sows, instead of having to buy piglets in from other breeders.

"This would be more sustainable for the farm as the applicant wants to interbreed with Mangalitze breed pigs through artificial insemination to produce even better quality pork.

"By doing this, all the pigs will be free range and makes the pork fully traceable from the beginning to the pork being sold."

In a letter of support, Michael Wignall, chef patron of The Angel says: "Mr Emmott has a high-end product that is niche to the market.

"What he is supplying/producing and the ethos he holds and routinely delivers, is very special.

"A firm and noticeably cared for product. We hope to bring the local community to a state that’s conscious of ecological farming and sustainability."