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Where will all the chicken poo go?

Created on 03/03/2020 @ 09:16
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Poultry manure and where to put it could be a big problem for the Welshpool area in future, according to one county councillor.

This is due to the amount of intensive poultry units that have been built in the county in recent years, with plenty more in the planning process.

Another chicken farm, this time for 100,000 broilers, was approved for Lower Trederwen farm between Llandrinio and Arddleen last week with the applicants spreading chicken manure on their land, as well as taking it to nearby Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants.

Concerns about the number of applications being made by farmers has led to planning authorities receiving guidance from Wales’ chief planning officer Neil Hemington.

He told planners that the “cumulative” impacts of these developments needed to be calculated, especially if there are several chicken farms in a small area.

At the planning meeting – it was revealed that Powys planners are waiting for more formalised legislation to deal with these applications.

During the debate on the Trederwen application, Cllr Les George, said: “I fear as time moves on we are going to have a significant problem with poultry manure. Going back possibly two years, I was told that we had somewhere in the region of 110 poultry units in Powys.

“It would be extremely interesting to see how many there are at the moment? Could you give us that information?”

PCC planning development manager, Peter Morris, said: “We’re not monitoring them at the moment in terms of numbers. I’m expecting that we will have to monitor them at some point.

“I understand that Welsh Government are looking at intensive livestock units across Wales and has a working group set up.

“We sit on that working group with other bodies and organisations and it’s heading towards publication of a Technical Advice Note (TAN).

“When that comes through we will see more requirements put upon us as local authorities. We wait and see whether more regulation will appear.”

Cllr George added: “I think we need to keep up to date with the applications that we are passing. In the future when we put the figures together and we find out far too many poultry units in Powys haven’t got enough land to dispose of manure – then what will we do with it?

“I’m bringing a problem forward, I support intensive farming, people want cheap food.

“But we can’t go blindly when it will be to the detriment of the countryside and the people who live there. The information should be passed on to us to make informed decisions.”

From April 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018, there had been 108 of this type of planning application in Powys. In total 105 had been passed and three refused.

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