Challenge to planners’ approval for 180,000 chickens at farm continues
Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter
A legal row over a planning decision to extend a chicken farm in Powys is rumbling on.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Planning committee on Wednesday, October 5, councillors were given an update on the situation regarding angling pressure group, Fish Legal’s challenge against the decision.
Back in March councillors 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.”
In August it seemed likely that the challenge had sunk, as Fish Legal’s application for a judicial review of the decision had been knocked back by a High Court judge in Cardiff.
Powys planning committee solicitor, Colin Edwards said: “Having been refused twice at the High Court stage Fish Legal have applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to launch the Judicial Review.
“We’re going through that process and we’re waiting for their main argument, following which our barrister will have a look at it and decide whether we need to reply.”
“I’ll update you as an when we get a decision from the Court of Appeal.”
Fish Legal have argued that the council had failed to properly consider what will happen to tonnes of additional poultry manure that will be spread as phosphate-rich digestate on land in the River Wye catchment.
The group believe this would have an adverse effect and on the River Wye as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
Fish Legal solicitor Justin Neal said: “We are disappointed with the decision of the judge.
“There are important issue of law and environmental protection which need to be considered carefully.
“For the sake of the river, we have decided to appeal the ruling.”
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