Plans for a chicken farm near Knighton that were stopped by a legal challenge earlier this year are to come back before councillors.

In February, environmental campaigners Sustainable Food Knighton won a legal battle against Powys County Council to stop the 110,000-broiler chicken farm at Llanshay Farm being built.

But after revised plans were submitted to the council in May, councillors will look at the scheme again on Thursday.

The National Wales: Llanshay near Knighton where the controversial chicken farm could be built. Photo: Sustainable Food Knighton.Llanshay near Knighton where the controversial chicken farm could be built. Photo: Sustainable Food Knighton.

Thomas Price’s original application was successful in September 2020 and approved by planners under delegated powers, but Sustainable Food Knighton applied for a judicial review on the decision.

After a High Court Judge granted permission to proceed to a full judicial review hearing, the council conceded the case and had to pay £20,500 in costs.

That decision revolved around there being no evidence to say that spreading manure from the units on the farmland twice a year, would not have an impact on the character or quality of the area.

Now the new scheme has been recommended for approval.

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A report by council planning officers reads: “It is recognised that there are arguments both for and against the sustainability of intensive livestock units in the UK as well as the overall impact of the development on the environment and local populations.

“All development has an impact, and it is the role of the planning authority to assess whether the impact is acceptable or unacceptable taking into account material planning matters.

“The application is in respect of a development to accommodate 110,000 broilers been assessed by Development Management and taking into account the comments of consultees and members of the public, the development is considered to not unacceptably affect the environment."

Agent, Ian Pick, in an amended environment statement following the legal decision, highlights the changes made to the manure management regime and building design.

Mr Pick said: “The revised proposals involve the removal of the of the manure from the site to an anaerobic digester plant with no manure storage proposed.

“The wastes are proposed to be removed under a formal contract with Whitchurch Biogas Ltd, and removal of the waste will be planned in advance to coincide with the end of each flock cycle.

“All waste will be removed in sealed, sheeted trailers.”

Sustainable Food Knighton said: “The proposal to deal with the many tonnes of chicken manure produced by hauling it to an anaerobic digester 50 miles away merely shifts the problem and results in more lorry journeys.”

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