Councillors are calling on the Welsh Assembly to throw out controversial plans for a 1,000-cow ‘super dairy’ on the outskirts of Welshpool.
Farmer Fraser Jones wants to build units at his dairy farm at Lower Leighton Farm, Leighton, creating one of the first parlour-style facilities of its kind in Wales.
Yesterday members of Powys County Council said they would reject the plans, despite the authority backing the proposals last year.
The Welsh government has called in the application and is expected to hold a planning inquiry in March.
In November last year, the planning committee said it was minded to approve the application despite it being recommended for refusal.
But yesterday the matter was discussed again after changes in the council’s constitution and committee membership. The recommendation from the meeting will be forwarded to the planning inspectorate.
As members arrived at the meeting at Welshpool Town Hall they were met by Peta animal rights campaigners dressed in prison suits and cow masks holding signs which read ‘Save Us – Say ‘No’ to Powys Dairy’.
During the meeting, Councillor Dawn Bailey said if the development went ahead ‘village life in Leighton would change forever’.
Graeme Mulvey, headteacher of Leighton CP School, said he felt the development could affect the health of pupils.
He added: “Parents will send children to other schools. There’d be a loss of classes. Eventually the school will be so small the local authority will be forced to close it.”
Applicant Mr Jones also spoke at the meeting saying other farmers were expanding their businesses building by building.
“I worked extremely hard to research the application,” he said.
Council officers recommended refusal because the development is in conflict with council policies.