Large dairy farm plans near Oswestry set to be approved

Plans for an intensive dairy farm in Shropshire are being backed for approval by planning officers.

A Jersey cow
A Jersey cow

Shropshire Council's Northern Planning Committee is being recommended to approve the proposal, at Trefarclawdd Farm, on the outskirts of Trefonen, near Oswestry.

Planning officer Philip Mullineux said part of the application concerned large cattle-holding buildings that had previously been approved by the council – but were not build according to the approved plans.

The proposal is for a new milking complex, which would be a "much more intensive milking unit", holding up to 500 'Jersey cows'.

Mr Mullineux's report acknowledges that the proposal has been "controversial", but says the impact is considered acceptable and the development should go ahead.

Under the proposal, the farm can move from 150 to 500 milking cows.

The report states: "Previous cows retained on the holding were Fresian/Holstein, the application under consideration is in relation to Jersey cows, these are much smaller cows than the previous breed retained on site."

One of the conditions of the planning approval is that no more than 525 cows are allowed on site – which allows for replacements, injured or sick cows, and the farm bull.

Mr Mullineux also notes that "none of the statutory consultees and council consultees raise any significant objections to this application". He also says concerns over the project's impact on the landscape have been addressed.

He said: "It is acknowledged that the development is significant in scale and does have a limited impact on the local landscape, however it is considered that the proposed development with consideration to the surrounding landscape character and topography and field layout with further landscape mitigation can be successfully integrated into the surrounding landscape.

"Consideration has also been given to impacts on the historic landscape which includes the setting of designated and non- designated heritage assets.

"Therefore, on balance with consideration to the location, size and scale and cumulative impacts, it is considered that there will not be an adverse impact with further landscape mitigation."

The plans include an 875 square metre 'modern covered holding yard for the dairy cows waiting to go into the parlour', as well as a slurry lagoon measuring 60m by 25m.

Slurry resulting from the development will be used on land at the farm.

The report adds: "In the event of the requirement for a contingency operation, slurry will only be removed off site in sealed trailers to the AD plant at Abertanat Farm as set out in detail submitted in support of the application."

The planning committee will consider the proposal on Tuesday.

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