Roger Parry & Partners, via its agent Gerallt Davies, acting on behalf of John T Owen (the applicant), has applied to Powys County Council for the “erection of a broiler installation and silos, formation of a vehicular access and associated works” at Frochas Farm, assigned to case officer Tamsin Law, which would allow the site to produce over one million chickens per year for meat.
According to the pre-application documentation the Owens’ farm business “has made the decision to diversify into a poultry enterprise to support their successful beef and sheep enterprises.” The planned ‘diversification’ into a high cost IPU is not without financial risk, and margins in broiler chickens are diminishing at a significant rate. The broiler market is unbalanced as there are always birds available that can be bought readily and an unbalanced market with low margins is not conducive to long-term business sustainability.
No business case has been put forward to persuade PCC that the proposal constitutes a development capable of creating future sustainable employment opportunities. The delivery of the extensive decommissioning arrangements that accompany the application depend on business sustainability.
Frochas Farm is applying to build three giant steel sheds (broilers), each around 5.5 metres high and totalling 7,200 square feet (more than twice the size of the BM Store in Welshpool), along with additional silos and other supporting works. The metal cladding and corrugated concrete roofs add to the industrial appearance of the complex.
Due to its size, it falls under Schedule 1 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011, putting it in the same category as an oil refinery, nuclear power plant or chemical installation.
This industrial facility at Frochas Farm will house 150,000 birds, which will be raised for 38 days before being transported, slaughtered and processed, which totals over one million chickens per year.
This IPU will have a direct impact on Welshpool residents, homes and businesses in terms of health risks, ammonia emissions, airborne pollution, manure odour, threat to streams and rivers, increase in flies, house and land value, noise pollution and a dramatic increase in heavy vehicle traffic through Welshpool and surrounding villages.
For those who may have objected previously to this proposed plan through the Welshpool Council, Roger Parry & Partners or via online petitions, it is critical that you now submit a formal objection to Planning Services, Powys Council to have an impact on the final planning decision.
There is no objection to diversification in farming, or any other sector, but the diversification must be appropriate to its context, confer measurable benefits to the environment, community and local economy that outweigh any harm or losses.
The diversification should also align with both the letter and spirit of national and local planning policy and legislation. This application achieves none of these things.
Notable parties in this application:
John T Owen: Applicant – Frochas Farm
Gerallt Davies: Agent – Roger Parry & Partners
Tamsin Law: Case Officer – Powys County Council
Graham Breeze: Ward Councillor – Llanerchydol