Blow for chicken farms protesters

THERE is to be no moratorium on chicken farm planning applications in Powys, campaign groups have been told.

Ten groups from across the county wrote to the authority last month to highlight their concerns about the number of intensive poultry units being given planning permission or awaiting a decision.

But they have now been told that the authority will not be able to put a stop to applications coming in.

The council’s professional lead for planning, Peter Morris, said: “As a local planning authority, the council has a statutory duty, as set out in legislation, to determine planning applications we receive from customers.

“The authority is therefore unable to impose a moratorium on any type of planning application because to do so would conflict with this statutory duty.”

The council was asked if it took into consideration the cumulative impact of intensive poultry units.

Mr Morris added: “Cumulative and in-combination impacts are material planning considerations which are taken into account and considered in the planning application decision making process.”

Applications are considered in the local development plan, with comments invited from groups such as Natural Resources Wales.

Mr Morris also told the campaigners that once the planning process is completed, they don’t need to monitor the development, with NRW the environmental regulator responsible for monitoring the farms’ output.

The council was asked if anyone was keeping “count” of how many birds are now in Powys IPUs ?

Mr Morris added: “There is no requirement upon the council to undertake such a survey.”

He added that poultry keepers must register with Welsh Government and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Mr Morris added: “All planning application proposals for intensive livestock units are subject to consultation to ensure that the environmental impacts are reviewed by the relevant statutory body.”

“Human health considerations such as impacts arising from odour, dust, noise and other emissions are material planning considerations.”

Speaking on behalf of campaign groups Darrell Shephard, said: “We consider the reply to be wholly unsatisfactory, it fails to answer many of the main points in our letter.”

Mr Shephard added that the groups involved will be meeting to consider their next steps.

There have been 130 completed applications for IPUs in Powys since June 2015, many of which have been approved, and a further 29 are in the pipeline.

Hereford Times