Frochas IPU application rejected by Planning Committee

The planning application for the 150,000 broiler IPU at Frochas, 19/0938/FUL, was refused by the Powys Planning Committee on February 4, 2021. The proposed industrial poultry unit (IPU) received over 350 written objections from the community and wider public, as well as the Welshpool Town Council that voted unanimously against the IPU, citing 15 strong objections.

The planning officer, Tamsin Law, delivered an 80-minute long presentation overriding strong objections from CADW that had serious reservations about how this industrial complex would affect the landscape and visual amenity from the listed Llanerchydol park and garden.

After lengthy deliberation, the planning committee voted 12 against the application, four in favour and two abstentions.

The decision notice was published on February 8, 2021, and states that the application is refusedby virtue of its size, scale and location [and that it] would have a detrimental landscape impact contrary to policies SP7, DM4 and DM13 of the Powys Local Development Plan, Technical Advice Note 12: Design, and Planning Policy Wales (2018).

SP7 is a policy that safeguards important strategic resources and assets (such as landscape and Wales’ natural beauty) from unacceptable development so as to protect them for the future well-being of the country. The policy cites the importance of CADW’s conservation principles and guidance, which is very important to this application as CADW submitted numerous strong objections to this application on these grounds.

DM4 addresses the appropriate and sensitive integration, siting, scale and design of developments, and how they affect landscapes including topography, historical and ecological qualities, open views and tranquillity. Importantly, this also includes “LANDMAP, Registered Historic Landscapes and the visual amenity enjoyed by users of both the potentially affected landscapes and adjoining areas.”

DM13 deals with design and resources, where developments must be able to demonstrate a regard to the qualities and amenity of the surrounding area, local infrastructure and resources, and acts to preserve the local distinctiveness and sense of place.

Technical Advice Note 12: Design, and Planning Policy Wales (2018) is in place to “promote sustainability through good design”. In accordance with this the Welsh government states that the “rural landscape is important in articulating our nation and our culture”, so it’s understandable that an enormous industrial site in an “outstandingly picturesque situation” was inappropriate

The applicant, John Owen, and the agent, Gerallt Davies from Roger Parry & Partners, now have six months from February 8, 2021, to appeal to this rejected planning application.