A PETITION against a proposed chicken farm near Berriew has gathered 670 signatures.

The petition, called “Say cluck off to the proposed chicken factory”, was started by Darrell Shephard.

It was as a response to the planning application submitted by the Bright Family to build accommodation for 100,000 broiler chickens at Groes y Garreg Farm, just outside the village.

Mr Shephard explained: “This is not farming, it would be a 24/7, 365 day a year busy factory that should never be allowed in a totally unsuitable rural locations near family homes.

“These noisy factories pump out poultry dust which contains bacteria, fungi, allergens, toxins, pollen and plant fibres.

“Independent research says inhaled poultry dust is harmful to human health, as are the gasses including ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and other greenhouse gasses.”

Mr Shephard argued that villagers could expect to see nearly 1,000 heavy goods vehicles and vans of various size go use the narrow winding roads each year.

They would go along what Mr Shephard has described as a dangerous country road that is very narrow, without lighting and goes up a steep hill to service the broiler unit both day and night.

He added: “This very large chicken factory should be cited in a suitable location for a factory, away from family homes and on a suitable road.”

Agent for the Bright family, Mandy Seedhouse of Shrewsbury-based Berry’s Chartered surveyors, said: “The applicant is a farming business that farms approximately 244 acres.

“The farm is dairy, milking 190 cows.

“In addition to the milking cows the farm has 55 heifers and seven stock bulls.

“To help ensure the viability of the farming business for future generations and to help meet the high demand for chickens it is proposed to replace the existing free range unit with a broiler chicken unit.

“Tis will consist of two purpose built poultry accommodation buildings and associated infrastructure.

Ms Seedhouse said the development would “create further employment” and allow the “younger generation” to remain on the farm.

In January, Mr Shephard organised a meeting which brought together protest groups against chicken farms near Welshpool, Llangadfan and Caersws to meet Montgomeryshire AM Russell George.

At the meeting held at the Dragon hotel in Montgomery, groups discussed and shared information to help each other oppose the applications.