Call-in after plans to extend chicken farm are recommended for approval by Powys planners

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Tuesday 22nd March 2022 8:00 pm
Cllr Mackenzie inset over a stock photo of eggs
(Cllr Mackenzie inset over a stock photo of eggs )

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Plans to double the size of a chicken farm near Builth Wells at a cost £1.5 million, have been recommended for approval by Powys County Council planning officers.

On Thursday, the council’s planning committee were due to discuss an application, by Keri Davies of Wernhalog Farm, Llanfaredd near Builth Wells, which could see the number of broiler chickens, bred for meat, go up to 180,000.

If approved the farm would see an extra two poultry units of 45,000 chicken each added to the site as well as “air scrubbers” to clean the air.

The family was given planning permission in March 2019 for two poultry units to keep up to 90,000 chickens.

This development has been operating since October 2020 and plans also include fitting air scrubbers to those existing units.

The application is in front of councillors having been “called in” by the local councillor Maureen Mackenzie.

Cllr Mackenzie said: “I have received comments and written material from some of my constituents which make it clear to me that there are significant issues which require full and thorough evaluation. ”

Llanelwedd community council have discussed the application and support it.

The council said that they had received concerns about noise and light but feel the scheme would: “bring work to the area and would be beneficial to the vicinity.”

In her report Powys council planning officer, Louise Evans said “It is recognised that there are arguments both for and against the sustainability of intensive livestock units in the UK as well as the overall impact of the development on the environment and local populations.

“All development has an impact, and it is the role of the planning authority to assess whether the impact is acceptable or unacceptable taking into account material planning matters.”

“Having been assessed and taking into account the comments of consultees and members of the public, the development is considered to not unacceptably affect the environment.”

Ms Evans added that she believes the scheme complies with local and national planning policy.

Ms Evans said: “The information submitted within the Environmental Statement has been considered in full in reaching the decision made on this application and the recommendation is conditional consent.”

There are a number of conditions that would be attached to the planning permission, and these include:

All manure and dirty waters generated by the development hereby permitted, and all ammonia scrubber liquor from the four poultry units to be taken to an anaerobic digester facility for processing and none of it to be “spread directly on any land.”

A further sustainable drainage (SuDS) application will also need to be approved.

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