Shropshire Star

Campaigners start legal challenge against 110k chicken farm near

Campaigners against a 110,000-bird chicken farm near Knighton are mounting a legal challenge against the decision by Powys planners to give it the green light.

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Broiler Chicken generic pic from Wikipedia

Sustainable Food Knighton has applied for a judicial review of Powys County Council’s decision to approve the application.

The application by Thomas Price to build units to house 110,000 broiler chicken at Llanshay Farm was approved in September by planning officers under delegated powers

Requests to “Call-In” for the application to be decided by a Welsh Government minister were turned down.

A spokesman for Sustainable Food Knighton, said: “Reluctantly we feel we have no option but to challenge this latest decision by going for a Judicial Review.

“Over the past few years, over a hundred Intensive Poultry Units have been granted planning permission in Powys.

“The council has refused a moratorium, which would put a halt to all developments while proper research on their impacts was carried out.

“We have lobbied and spoken with numerous representatives in council and government departments without results, so this is the next available course of action.”

Sustainable Food Knighton added that councils and governments should be helping farmers “to develop sustainable practices that can provide healthy affordable food for local communities”.

Planning officer Louise Evans, in her report, 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.

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

“The development is considered to be compliant with local and national planning policy and it is for that reason that the development is recommended for approval.”

Ms Evans added that the permission is subject to a number of conditions which control the development which would need to be stuck to.

Mr Price’s agent Ian Pick said in a design and access statement: “It will make a valuable contribution to the local and national economy and will secure the employment of the existing full time workers in the farm and will support further employment in the associated industries allied to the poultry industry.”

Between April 2017 and April 2020, PCC received 96 intensive poultry unit planning applications of which 75 were approved and 18 were still waiting for a decision.

In the same time frame, planning authorities across the the rest of Wales received 20 applications, of which 13 were approved, four were still waiting for a decision.

Environment body, Natural Resources Wales is working on a review of nutrient levels in Welsh rivers which could lead to a future moratorium on poultry farm planning applications.

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