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Plans for chicken farm near Newtown again rejected

By Elgan Hearn | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A controversial planning application to build a chicken farm near Newtown has been rejected for the second time after a close vote.

Powys County Council's planning committee threw out a similar scheme relating to a free-range poultry unit at Upper Gwestydd, in Cefn Mawr, 18 months ago on ecological and highways grounds.

Now the latest plans by farmer Gareth Woosnam has hit the buffers following a committee meeting on May 23.

The new application was rejected by eight votes to six with one abstention.

Committee solicitor Colin Edwards told the meeting: “If members were to approve this in the face of opposition from both out highways and planning department, I could not rule out the possibility of action against the authority if, as a result of passing this, there is an accident there in the future.”

“There have been cases in the past where authorities have been found liable for reckless decisions.”

In a planning report to the committee highways officers had stated they believed the danger to drivers is “too high” to allow the development to go ahead as the junction of the C2011/U2620 is severely substandard in terms of visibility in both directions.

But addressing to committee Mr Woosnam’s son, Geraint, stressed the need for the farm to diversify so that he and his brother Aled, could operate there as well as future generations of the family.

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Councillor Iain McIntosh asked whether the “apex of the bend could be deleted?”

He was told by highways officers that it was possible to “shave the corner off", but the landowners were unwilling to sell.

Welshpool representative Councillor Phil Pritchard said: "We always look at theses situations as if we’re flat on our bellies on the floor and all you can do is see a hedge.

“We are talking here about lorries that are going to be 20-foot in the air, we’re not talking about little tiny cars like we had in the 1960s. Anybody coming around there would see the vehicle and the hazard.

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"We’re talking about the livelihoods of two young farmers who want to carry on their business or they could go out of existence. It’s a no-brainer to me.”

Newtown Central representative Councillor David Selby said: ” I drive this road but I’m not pretending to be an expert on what we should do with junctions.

“What we have in front of us is that the corner and junction could be very dangerous. It would be wrong decision for us to ignore that advice.”

The farm has been owned by the Woosnam’s since in 1937 and was previously a diary farm.

Elgan Hearn

By Elgan Hearn
@ElganPowysLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Powys.

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