Minister considers calling in application for 112,000 broiler chicken farm near Newtown

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

1 month ago 268 views

News Politics

The process of approving a 112,000 broiler chicken farm near Newtown which was backed by Powys County Councillors has been paused.

This is so that the Welsh Government minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS can mull over taking charge of the decision making process after being asked to “call in” the application.

Earlier this month, Powys County Council’s Planning committee recommended approving a planning application by Gwyn Jones to build two poultry units for 56,000 chickens each and all the associated works at Upper Maenllwyd. The site is situated just off the B4368 road between the villages of Kerry and Abermule.

Welsh Government planning directorate chief planner and deputy director, Neil Hemington said:

“Ministers have been asked to call in the application for their own determination.

“I hereby direct your council not to grant planning permission without the prior authorisation of the Welsh ministers.

“I issue this direction to enable further consideration to be given to whether or not the application should be referred to the Welsh ministers for their determination.

“The direction prevents your council only from granting planning permission; it does not prevent it from continuing to process or consult on the application.

“Neither does it prevent it from refusing planning permission.”

At the planning committee on February 2 meeting several councillors were “surprised” and” uncomfortable” that the application was being debated before a consultation period on the proposal ends on February 20.

They were told that the application needed to go before them at that meeting as the planning officer Louise Evans, who had dealt with the application was leaving the authority for a new job.

Councillors were told that Ms Evans would not be available to answer their questions on the application at a future meeting.

Due to the ongoing consultation process, councillors were only allowed to recommend how the application should be decided – not grant it themselves.

The decision has been delegated to the planning professional lead, Peter Morris along with the Planning committee chairman, Cllr Karl Lewis and vice-chairman Cllr Gareth D Jones.

They were going to issue a decision once the consultation period had ended.

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