Members of TVEG are involved in rasing awareness about the importance of healthy eating and working. Their work has included activities such as holding a vegetarian /vegan event and challenging a local application for another intensive poultry unit.
Intensive Poultry Unit
Sustainable Food Knighton’s objection was based on six areas, briefly summarised and updated as follows.
1. Climate change
The Welsh government declared a climate emergency in 2019 and Powys County Council declared that it would take steps to address it. SFK argued that the proposed intensive poultry unit was in clear conflict with the aims of reducing carbon emissions, ensuring a sustainable farming industry and making Wales net zero by 2050. The bird feed is typically soya-based, with huge environmental implications for regions like the Amazon as well as the impact of shipping huge distances. Heavy vehicle traffic is part of the running of IPUs, not just because of feed but also the movement of the birds in and out and the movement of the tons of manure generated.
2. Manure Management
It was initially proposed that the manure generated should be spread onto pasture, and it was on this objection that PCC conceded. The plan as resubmitted now proposes that manure be taken by road to a bio-digester 55 miles away over the border in Whitchurch. Needless to say, residents of Whitchurch have their own feelings about their role in the intensive farming industry – see https://www.whitchurchherald.co.uk/news/18476255.concerns-raised-whitchurch-biogas-plant-application/ for more.
The applicant has also responded to new regulations regarding ammonia emissions by proposing to install “scrubbers” to remove the ammonia from the exhaust air, another technical fix involving fans operating day and night.
3. Landscape Impact
It was argued that the impact of building an access road near a public bridleway had been ignored, and the full impact on the rural landscape – including the resulting smells, noise, damage to woodland and hedgerows, and contamination of springs and watercourses – had not been sufficiently evaluated.
4. Water supply
It was argued that during periods of heavy rain there is a risk of phosphates running off from the fields where the manure is spread, and contaminating the Teme and that no assessment had been given for this.
5. Amenity/highway safety impacts on new residents
As the applicant had already received planning permission from PCC for the erection of 103 dwellings on land about 500 metres from the proposed IPU, we argued that the impact of construction and maintenance of the IPU on the proposed residents of these dwellings needed consideration.
6. Cumulative Effects and risks to human health
With a higher concentration of IPUs in Powys than anywhere else in Europe, studies of the cumulative impact on environment and human health are needed. SFK has real concerns about the risks of ammonia and other emissions to human and environmental health, in addition to which scientists have become increasingly aware in the last year of the potential dangers to human health posed by the zoonotic transmission of viruses from animals to humans in intensive farming contexts.
Update awaited from the group