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Possible moratorium on poultry farm planning apps

 
Created on 08/10/2020 @ 06:51
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A review of nutrient levels in rivers could lead to a future moratorium on poultry farm planning applications in the area, it has emerged.

The Welsh Government has said that environment body Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is now working on the review.

This follows concerns about pollution incidents affecting the River Wye which could be happening because of the number of poultry farms upstream.

There have been numerous planning applications for poultry farms around Newtown and throughout north Powys over the past 18 months.

The  Wales Environment Link, a network of environmental, countryside and heritage non-governmental organisations has now added it’s weight to the calls for a moratorium in Powys, on poultry farms

They believe a moratorium should be in place until:

research has been  on the cumulative environmental impacts of the currently operating units has been done
evidence is provided that negative impacts have been reduced;
effective measures are in place to manage these impacts in the future, including any necessary changes to the planning system and permitting thresholds.
Green party Powys County Councillor, Emily Durrant, is backing their call.

Cllr Durrant has also written to the Powys County Council’s planning committee asking for support.

Cllr Durrant, said: “We have a responsibility to the wider population of Wales, both current and future generations.

“We must find ways to support sustainable and fulfilling livelihoods for our residents, whilst ensuring that these do not impede on the quality or sustainability of the wider population’s health, well-being and livelihoods, now and in the future.”

On Twitter, portfolio holder for Economic Development, Housing and Regulatory Services Cllr James Evans, has exchanged tweets with Cllr Jackie Charlton and Cllr Durrant on they subject.

Cllr Evans told them to take the issue up with the Welsh Government.

Cllr Evans said: “It is not the job of Powys CC to impose any moratoriums on development in our community or on agriculture.”

Cllr Durrant pointed out she had already asked Welsh Government for action.

Cllr Jackie Charlton added :  “We would most definitely support a moratorium on this should the Welsh Government provide that measure.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “A review of nutrient levels in rivers in Wales is currently being undertaken by Natural Resources Wales – if that review provided any such evidence, we would be able to consider a moratorium, but only once the review is complete.

“We are working with stakeholders to develop updated national guidance to support authorities in fulfilling their planning responsibilities.”

They expect a draft set of new agricultural pollution regulations to be published in the spring.”

Calls for a moratorium started in May, when groups from all across Powys came together and wrote to PCC asking for one.

Powys planners say that that this could not be done as it would “conflict with it’s statutory duty” of dealing with applications in a timely manner.

Between April 2017 and April 2020, PCC received 96 intensive poultry unit planning applications of which 75 were approved and 18 were still waiting for a decision.

In the same time frame, planning authorities across the the rest of Wales received 20 applications, of which 13 were approved, four were still waiting for a decision

Herefordshire and Shropshire received a combined total of 35 applications, of which 20 were approved and 12 were waiting for a decision.

 

 

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service

 

 

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