A FARM that  already has a 24,000 bird free range broiler unit wants to build a new one to take on an extra 55,000 birds.

The Powell family who run Llwyn Gwilym Farm near Rhayader has submitted a planning application for the Broiler Unit.

Llwyn Gwilym has a large herds of cattle and sheep, and has already diversified into the tourism industry.

This summer they have received planning permission to build four camping pods and two shepherd huts and have applied to build nine "Hobbit Homes".

The Design and Access Statement (DAS), by agents Roger Parry and Partners, said: "The family runs a successful mixed enterprise unit .

"The business is now considering expanding its diversification on farm to a further 55,000 bird broiler unit.

"The enterprise has been fully investigated by the business which already has the benefit of an operating and profitable free range unit.

"The business is more than confident that the development of the proposed broiler unit can be a success and supplement the current farm profits.

The proposed building to house the 55,000 birds would be 115.8metres long and 24.4metres wide creating a footprint of 2,825.52 square metres.

The site is set close to the B4518 road that runs between Tylwch and Rhayader.

Broiler chickens are used to produce meat and they would be removed after 41 or 42 days.

Then the building would be power washed and disinfected ready for the next growing cycle.

The DAS says that the number of vehicle movements during the removal of the chicken would be limited to 14 in 24 hours.

The agents add: "Farm businesses need to grow in response to market forces and changing legislation if they are to survive.

"It is the belief of the business that the farm cannot expand any further into sheep and beef as land and building restraints make it uneconomical.

"The broiler enterprise expansion has been seen as an opportunity to generate another income on the holding to enable all the partners to still remain in the locality and also allow Mr and Mrs Powell's sons to have the opportunity to farm and provide enough income for their families."

"This enterprise has been researched fully and they are confident that the business can be a success and supplement the current marginal farm profits."