Powys planning chief says poultry bids comply with laws

A Powys councillor has insisted that planning applications for chicken and egg farms in the county have taken into account legislation governing the environment.

The comment by Tory planning chief Councillor Iain McIntosh follows concerns that the area has been dubbed the chicken farm capital of Wales with an estimated 156 intensive poultry units given the green light during the last five years.

Councillor McIntosh told a meeting that applications lodged took do take heed of the Well-being for Future Generations Wales and the Environment Wales Act.

His comments followed a question by the Green Party's Councillor Emily Durrant who asked how the approval of 156 IPUs (Intensive Poultry Units) across the county contributed to the goals of the Act.

Councillor McIntosh the portfolio holder for planning said that the local development plan for Powys adopted in 2018 took account of all the legal duties.

“As such all planning applications made in Powys are determined in line with the legislation," he said.

Councillor Durrant also asked how the approval of so many units complied with the Environment Wales Act and “in particular” the duties under Section Six of the law which refers to biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems.

The Act states: “A public authority must seek to maintain and enhance biodiversity in the exercise of functions in relation to Wales, and in so doing promote the resilience of ecosystems, so far as consistent with the proper exercise of those functions."

Councillor McIntosh said: “The LDP’s preparation was, informed by an impact assessment against the wellbeing goals. Policy DM2 of the LDP seeks to conserve and enhance biodiversity in line with the Section Six duty."

This policy includes protection of a number of habitat and species.

“As Planning Policy Wales states, a plan-led approach is the most effective way to secure sustainable development through the planning system and it is essential that plans are adopted and kept under review.

“Legislation secures a presumption in favour of sustainable development in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise to ensure that social, economic, cultural and environmental issues are balanced and integrated,” Councillor McIntosh added.

Last year campaigners across the county joined forces to call on Powys County Council to suspend planning applications for intensive poultry farming to allow research to be done on their affects on the environment and residents.

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