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COUNCILLORS are being advised to refuse plans for a pig farm near Newtown as they could impact on an important conservation area.

On Wednesday, October 5, Powys County Council’s Planning committee, will decide a proposal by Jeff Hopkins of Bank Farm, Aberhafesp.

Mr Hopkins wants to build to have a new livestock building for straw-based pig rearing with associated feed bin, hard standing area, landscaping, and drainage pond.

The family run a traditional beef and sheep farm and explain that they need to diversify to “secure” their financial viability for future generations.

The building is proposed to be 80 metres in length, 15.5metres in width a height of 7.6metres and will included a covered manure store.

According to the planning officers report the proposal is in front of councillors due to the “level of concern” that the proposal has generated locally.

There have been 120 objections raised about the plans and the concerns raised are due to the effect it would have on local ecology, inadequate access, more transport journeys, increasing pollution, noise disturbance, smell and manure spreading and the impact this could have on people’s health.

There were also 51 letters lodged to support the proposal.

Principal planning officer Gemma Bufton said:

“It is considered that the proposed development individually but also cumulatively would have a significant adverse effect on the Gregynog SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) through ammonia contributions, and the recommendation is therefore one of refusal.”

The proposed development has failed to demonstrate that there will not be a
detrimental impact on the Gregynog SSSI.

Agent, Ian Pick explained the proposal in a design and access statement.

Mr Pick said:

“The proposed buildings will be used for the rearing and finishing of pigs on a straw based high welfare rearing system.

“The proposed system is not intensive.

“Piglets are delivered to the site immediately following weaning at 28 days old.

“The piglets are reared within the building for approximately 20 weeks until they reach finished weight, when they are removed from the site.”

The start weight is around seven kilograms and by the time they leave the pigs will be 105 kilograms.

Mr Pick said that the would be 2.2 batches of pigs reared at Bank Farm each year.

Mr Pick added:

“At the end of each batch of pigs, the straw bedding is removed, and the building washed out and prepared for the next batch of pigs.

“All farmyard manure produced within the livestock unit will be removed from the site every month by specialist contractors.

“There will be no storage or spreading of pig manure elsewhere on the farm.”

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