Plans for a large scale pig farm in Montgomery have been slammed by residents, businessesi and TV personality Iolo Williams.

Proposals submitted to Powys County Council (PCC) could see two new pig units, housing almost 2,000 animals, plus a manure store, built on land next to Hill Farm.

The plans have caused concern among residents of the town and surrounding villages, with a 105-signature petition being handed in alongside around 20 leters of objection.

Among the objectors was the nature and wildlife presenter who said he was “horrified” to see the proposal.

Mr Williams said: “I was horrified to learn about the proposed development of an intensive 2,000 pig factory on the hill road near Montgomery.

“Such intensive units have no place in the stunning rural setting of Mid Wales and are completely out of character with that area of Montgomeryshire in particular.”

Mr Williams went on to raise concerns over the potential impact on fishing, and the country lanes in the area being unsuitable for HGVs and construction vehicles.

“In summary, this type of development that should be discouraged in rural Mid Wales and I trust that the council will do the right thing in turning it down.”

Mr Williams’ description of the new farming units as “intensive” are rebuffed by the agent Ian Pick Associates Ltd, acting on behalf of the applicants GW and WW Jones, who currently operate a sheep farm but have decided to diversify.

In documents submitted with the planning application, the agent 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.”

Each livestock building will have a capacity of 990 pigs. The animals will enter the system at around 28 days old, weighing seven kilogrammes, until they leave at 20 weeks old, weighing 105 kilogrammes. There will be approximately 2.2 cycles per year.

Other residents of Montgomery have logged their objections, as well as local businesses including Monty’s Brewery.

In his objection letter, the company director Russ Honeyman voiced his fears that manure being spread near the brewery could contaminate the beer.

“Primarily my concerns revolve around the faeces or excrement from close to 2,000 animals daily. It is very unclear from the application where this is be discarded.

“I am again extremely concerned about the smells which may linger in the area and turn people and visitors away from coming to Montgomery and out Visitor Centre.

“I am highly recommending that the planning council reject this plan, it is too close to the town of Montgomery, the waste for that many animals cannot just be chucked around the fields, in this area.”

Montgomery Town Council and Abermule with Llandyssil Community Council have also raised concerns with PCC’s planning department.

As well as worries about HGV traffic and potential smell, residents have taken issue with the fact the application was originally advertised under Hyssington, some eight miles away, and residents of Llandyssil and Abermule were not notified of the plans. This is despite PCC Highways stipulating traffic to the site would have to be via Abermule to the A483.