PLANNERS have recommended approving an extension to an existing intensive poultry unit near Meifod.

The application by Ystym Colwyn Farms will be discussed at the next planning committee meeting on Thursday, September 13.

Consent is being sought for building four broiler units to house 200,000 more birds in four units that measure 109.73 metres by 25.38 metres covering nearly 3000 square metres.

This would see 50,000 birds kept in each unit.

Broiler is the term used for any chicken that is raised specifically for meat production.

The proposed units will operate a two-wave clear out with cockerels being removed at 36 days and the pullets (young hens) in 42 days, with an expected turn around of around a week.

This could result in nearly eight crop cycles a year.

Agents on behalf of Ystym Colwyn Farms, Roger Parry and Partners, said in the design and access statement that the farm is diversifying the enterprise away from the traditional sheep flocks and cattle herds, due to the increasingly volatile nature of the prices associated with the red meat.

"The farm business has made the decision to diversify further into a poultry enterprise and the applicant wishes to enhance the business to create a sustainable future for themselves and their young family.

"Hence the business has to diversify to create and sustain jobs.

"The council wishes to sustain an efficient and viable farming economy and is aware of the need for continuing investment in modern farm building.

"Farm businesses need to change to grow in response to market forces and legislation if they are to survive."

Planning officers say in their report: "We are satisfied that the proposed development complies with the relevant policies within the Local Development Plan and the decision is one of conditional consent."

Meifod Community Council has also said that it supports the application.