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Welsh council admits it should not have approved vast poultry farm

Welsh council admits it should not have approved vast poultry farm

A local authority has admitted it should not have granted planning permission for a vast broiler unit in the “poultry capital of Wales” after campaigners crowdfunded a judicial review.

Powys has become a focal point for opposition to the boom in intensive poultry units (IPUs) after freedom of information requests revealed the authority has approved more than 150 in the past five years.

Environmental campaigners say the explosion in IPUs in the county is linked to the deterioration of rivers in Wales.

The rise in poultry farms has been publicly linked by a variety of organisations to the increased severity of algal blooms.

According to the calculations of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Shropshire, as at July 2019, in the counties of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Powys there are 500 farms with a total of 1,420 intensive poultry units/sheds, containing over 44 million birds.

The Campaign to Protect Rural Wales produced a map (current as at 19 July 2020) that shows the number and location of the IPUs in the region, it can be accessed here.

Planning permission granted by Powys county council in September last year for two broiler sheds – with a combined capacity of 110,000 – at Llanshay Farm prompted Sustainable Food Knighton (SFK) to launch its campaign.  The group raised more than £5000 through CrowdJustice to fund the legal challenge.

This is not the first public demonstration against the proliferation of poultry farms in the region. Last year, a petition launched by Kate Bull called on Powys County Council to instate an immediate moratorium on planning permissions for new or extended poultry in units in the country.  The petition received over 75,000 signatures.

The campaign group said this week that the council had conceded the application should not have been approved.

This is an immense example of how pressure and combined effort from local groups can successfully overturn agricultural developments that threaten natural ecosystems.

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