Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Welsh give go ahead to mega dairy plans

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Plans for a 1,000-cow 'mega-dairy' in Wales have been given the green light by the Welsh government following months of speculation and a public inquiry.

Fraser Jones, the farmer behind the proposed large-scale dairy unit, plans to go from 300 cows to 1,000 cows on his property at Lower Leighton farm in Powys, mid-Wales.

The farm has been at the centre of controversy since it was first proposed by Mr Fraser in 2011.

A local action group and the National Trust, as well as Compassion in World Farming came out strongly against the farm, objecting to the potential noise, smell, pollution and increased traffic that would be caused.

A public inquiry into the planned dairy was held in March of this year when the planning inspector recommended that the development be refused planning permission because of the potential effect it would have on the character and appearance of the area and the impact on local residents.

However the Welsh Government's Planning Minister, Carl Sargeant, overturned the decision on Thursday, saying that the economic benefits of the dairy would outweigh the other issues.

Meanwhile, South Tipperary county council has yet to receive any application for a new 5,000-cow dairy unit mooted for the Clonmel/Cashel area. It is believed the propsed dairy is the brainchild of an Irish man who was a partner in the Nocton Dairies 'super dairy' that hit the headlines in England in 2010. The initial plan for a 8,100-cow herd was was downscaled to 3,770 cows in 2011 before being abandoned.

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Irish Independent