Anglers to mount legal challenge to chicken farm extension.
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Angling pressure group Fish Legal has announced that it will mount a legal challenge against Powys County Council over a chicken farm extension.
Earlier this month, the council’s planning committee voted in favour of approving a planning application by the Davies family to double the number of broiler chickens at Wernhalog Farm, Llanfaredd near Builth Wells to 180,000.
There were concerns expressed at the meeting that dirty water run-off from the site could pollute the River Wye, which is two kilometres from the farm.
Fish Legal believes that the decision to approve the application is “unlawful” and should be “quashed.”
Fish Legal said: “In particular, it highlights a failure by the council to properly consider what will happen to tonnes of additional poultry manure that will be spread as digestate on land in the River Wye catchment.”
The group says the council has 14 days to respond.
A spokesman for Powys County Council said: “The council can confirm that it has received a letter from Fish Legal in relation to planning permission 21/1381/FUL (Wernhalog Farm) which it is considering and will respond to in due course.”
At the recent planning meeting where the application was decided, what will happen to the manure created by the extra chickens was discussed.
Agent Ian Pick explained that the manure and dirty water would all be taken away to an Anaerobic Digester (AD) to be processed.
He stressed that: “nothing is stored or spread on the farm.”
Mr Pick said: “The site is completely sealed, there is no prospect of this development causing any run-off into the nearby brook, the design prevents it.”
Cllr Les George asked if there was proof that the applicant had a contract in place with an AD digester plant?
Planning officer, Louise Evans said: “The agent has indicated that there is a signed contract, we’re not party to it.”
Cllr George would have liked a document showing a signed contract as part of the application.
The application was approved by 11 votes for, three against and one abstention.
Fish Legal was previously known as the Anglers’ Conservation Association, which was founded in 1948 to protect all inland and coastal waters in the United Kingdom from pollution and other environmental damage.
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Anaerobic digesters are not a panacea and contracts with external plants can be very dangerous in concentrating pollutants at one spot. The photo of the Wye at Glasbury is taken downstream from the bridge. If the camera person had turned around, focused upstream we would see the confluence with the Llynfi, a now dead river repeatedly polluted with tens of thousands of fish killed, at least once, by run-off from one of these plants. Not saying they haven’t fixed the problems since 2016, 2018 and 2020 or that they were responsible for them all but the fact they happened proves… Read more »