Controversial plans for a chicken farm near Knighton that were halted by a High Court ruling this year have now been approved again.

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 by applicant Thomas Price.

In May, it was revealed that revised plans for the scheme had been lodged with the council, and the application came before a planning committee for a decision on Thursday, November 11.

The National Wales: Llanshay Farm, KnightonLlanshay Farm, Knighton

At the meeting Mr Price said: “We have been looking to diversify our farm for some time, to create an additional funding stream for our business in order to replace the impending loss of direct support for agriculture under the basic payment scheme, which is a result of Brexit.

“With the loss of the payment we need to develop a new enterprise to ensure the future of the business.”

Changes to the original plans include having air-scrubbers in the sheds which will reduce ammonia emissions by “90 per cent” as well as securing a contract with Whitchurch Biogas in Shropshire to take the chicken manure to its anaerobic digester.

Mr Price said: “This is a significant benefit compared with the previous scheme as we are no longer proposing to spread manure on the land and thereby removing any potential negative impacts on water quality or the amenity of neighbours.

“All in all, this application is far superior to the previous scheme which was approved in September last year.”

The National Wales: Protests in Knighton.Protests in Knighton.

Karen Plant and Camilla Saunders had outlined Sustainable Food Knighton’s objections to the proposal which where were on the “whole issue” of intensive farming.

Ms Plant pointed out that Powys was now seen as the “intensive poultry unit capital for Wales” and that the “cumulative” effect of all the chicken farms in Powys should be taken into account when deciding the planning application.

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Ms Saunders said: “Grave concerns are not being taken seriously.

“Intensive farming features very strongly in the COP26 discussions as the sector is one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gases at 25 per cent.”

Ms Saunders explained that soya used as feed for chickens is imported, its production is accelerating deforestation and “contributing to global warming.”

The National Wales: Powys County Councillor Gareth Pugh who represents Dolforwyn, which includes the village of Abermule Powys County Councillor Gareth Pugh who represents Dolforwyn, which includes the village of Abermule

Cllr Gareth Pugh: “Clearly a lot of work has been put into this application and with the additional (air) scrubbers and removing off site of all the manure, the main concerns have been addressed.

“Objecting on grounds of global warming is more an argument to be had with Westminster than Powys planning.

“Until that policy changes we have to consider the application in front of us, does it comply with legislation, and I think it does.”

Cllr Pugh went on to second the motion to approve the application which had been put forward by Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson.

The vote then took place, and the scheme was approved with 15 votes for, and one against.

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