Powys 'super dairy' called in by Welsh government

Farm The dairy is planned for Lower Leighton Farm in Leighton, near Welshpool

Related Stories

Controversial plans for a "super dairy" in Powys will be decided by the Welsh government.

Farmer Fraser Jones plans to build the dairy for 1,000 cattle in Leighton, near Welshpool.

Last November, Powys council's planning committee said it was "minded to approve" the application, subject to a report about "outstanding issues".

Mr Jones said he was "slightly disappointed" the Welsh government was calling in the application.

Environment Minister John Griffiths is concerned about the risk of pollution from slurry spreading, and the planned dairy's visual impact on nearby Powis Castle.

The development is opposed by a number of interested groups, and is earmarked for farmland near homes and the village primary school.

In a letter to Powys council's head of planning services, the Welsh government said: "In the minister's view there is insufficient information in these respects to show that all the relevant policy considerations have been fully addressed by Powys County Council's planning committee in reaching its decision on the planning application."

Start Quote

Hopefully the Welsh government will realise that there are no pollution risks or other issues which should stop this going ahead”

End Quote Fraser Jones the farmer behind the dairy plan

Council officers had recommended that planning approval for the dairy should be refused, but councillors ignored advice to reject it at a meeting on 1 November.

Mr Jones said: "I'm slightly disappointed and a bit surprised that they're calling it in.

"But hopefully the Welsh government will realise that there are no pollution risks or other issues which should stop this going ahead, which is what the councillors felt after they came here on a site visit."

Compassion in World Farming claimed in 2010 that Mr Jones's plans were factory farming.

'Mega dairy'

He denied this and said his animals' health would be monitored all the time, and he claimed the dairy would improve milking conditions.

Mr Jones has said his cows would be inside for 250 days of the year.

Powys council said it had been informed about the Welsh government's decision.

Local action group Calfe (Campaign Against Leighton Farm expansion) welcomed the intervention.

It said: "Calfe is also pleased that the minister considers that there is insufficient information to show that all the relevant policy considerations have been fully addressed by Powys County Council's planning committee in reaching its decision on this planning application.

Start Quote

Allowing a mega dairy to be built in rural Wales, which has some of the best pasture in Britain, would be a worrying precedent to set”

End Quote Simon Pope The World Society for the Protection of Animals

"The minister has also concluded that the application appears to conflict with national policies relating to pollution control and conservation of the historic environment."

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) said it was delighted.

"Allowing a mega dairy to be built in rural Wales, which has some of the best pasture in Britain, would be a worrying precedent to set," said Simon Pope of WSPA UK.

Mid and West Wales assembly member Joyce Watson also welcomed the news, adding: "A dairy this size in a village this small is unprecedented in Wales, probably the UK. It demands the closest scrutiny and the most careful consideration".

Fellow AM Rebecca Evans said the farm plans raised issues "far beyond local importance".

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Mid Wales

Weather

Aberystwyth

17 °C 15 °C

Features

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?


  • Children testing a bridge at a model-making summer school in Crawley, West SussexTiny shipyard Watch

    The art of making boats out of coffee stirrers


  • Krouwa Erick, the doctor in Sipilou town at the border of Ivory Coast and Guinea - 27 August 2014Bad trip

    The Ebola journey no-one in Ivory Coast wants to take


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.