Silly moos balk at cow noise

12 February 1999

‘Silly moos’ balk at cow noise

By Robert Davies

COUNCIL planners in Wales have granted planning consent for a new dairy unit – provided the cows dont moo at night.

For Keith Hughes, whose family applied to build the 200-cow shed near Dryslwyn, the restrictions imposed are “just daft”.

He has been told that noise from the building must not be more than five decibels above normal background level between 10pm and 7am.

A check revealed that 5db is the level of sound made by dry leaves blowing in the wind. A bulk tank cooler and parlour equipment would certainly break the regulations, as would lowing and coughing cows.

“How are we supposed to stop cows mooing during the curfew hours? Gag them? We would not be able to start milking 200 head until after 7am,” said Mr Hughes.

The conditions imposed by Carmarthenshire County Council also ban calving in the new shed, but there is nothing to stop the Hughes family using boxes in old buildings next to the new building for calving.

Peter Davies, the Farmers Union of Waless county executive officer, said he was astonished that the planning department of a rural county could have such scant knowledge of the practicalities of milk production.

“If these conditions were enforced, it would be almost impossible for Keith and Linda Hughes to expand their business on this site to allow their son James to work at home,”

Mr Davies said. “I am tempted to say that the silly moos are not on this farm but at county hall.”

Mr Hughes insisted that the chosen site was best suited because it was in the centre of the grazing area to be used when the herd run on the tenanted holding is expanded from 70 to 200 milkers.

Developing existing dairy buildings at Caeaunewydd, Dryslwyn, would involve cows crossing the busy A40 trunk road up to four times a day.

“We have to expand to stay in business and the tenants capital investment involved shows the familys commitment to farming in Carmarthenshire.

“Building has already been delayed, so work will start as soon as the weather allows in the hope that we can get permission to start milking earlier than 7am. We will do everything possible to screen the development and limit noise,” he said.

The Environment Health department recommended the conditions after an objection from tenants of a cottage 50m from the site, who also let part of the dwelling as holiday accommodation.

Carmarthenshires planners this week agreed to meet the Hughes to discuss how occupants of neighbouring houses could be protected without making milk production impractical.

A spokesman said repairing and increasing the height of an old wall on the edge of the site, and sound proofing parts of the new shed, could minimise noise nuisance.

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