Plans for 1,000-cow dairy in Wales thrown out

A plan for a 1,000-cow dairy in Wales has been rejected by council planners less than a year after the authority appeared to back the proposal.

On Tuesday (23 October), Powys County Council’s new planning committee refused to give permission for Fraser Jones’ planned dairy unit at Leighton, near Welshpool.

The application had to be reconsidered by the council because of a change in the way planning is dealt with at a local authority level in Wales.

In November, Powys Council planning committee had said it was “minded to approve” the application, subject to a report about “outstanding issues”.

Mr Jones said the decision was a blow but that he was not defeated. He hopes to convince a Welsh Government planning inspector of the merits of the plan when it is considered at a public inquiry in March.

Mr Jones described Tuesday’s meeting as a “farce’’.

“A lot of the councillors on the committee clearly didn’t have any understanding of farming. One of them questioned how it would be possible for slurry to be pumped through a pipe when it is a technology that has been around for decades,” he said.

“It was very frustrating for us because we weren’t able to speak at the meeting, but we will get our opportunity at the public inquiry.’’

The unit would include a three-span cubicle unit. A floodwash system for cleaning the yards had been ruled out because of the issue with smells; they would instead be cleaned using a slurry tanker fitted with a scraper with the slurry emptied into a pit and fed into an anaerobic digester.

The development, earmarked for farmland near homes and the village primary school, is opposed by several groups.

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