A GROUP which has been campaigning for more than a year against proposals for an 110,000 chicken farm near Knighton – despite it being backed by the town council.

Thomas Price has applied for planning permission to build units to house 110,000 broiler chicken at Llanshay Farm.

Mr Price’s agent Ian Pick explained the reason behind the business diversification plans, in a design and access statement.

Mr Pick said; “This proposal is one for the expansion and diversification of an existing family run agricultural business.

“The business has an essential requirement to diversify into the profitable poultry enterprise in order to support the existing employment and traditional farming activities.

“It will make a valuable contribution to the local and national economy and will secure the employment of the existing full time workers in the farm and will support further employment in the associated industries allied to the poultry industry.”

But Sustainable Food Knighton has said there are enough intensive poultry units in the county.

Mr Pick added that a pre-application consultation had taken place and that responses have been “positive”.

Knighton Town Council discussed the application in July 2019 and had backed it.

A spokesperson for Sustainable Food Knighton, said: “We are not an anti-farming group, we want to work with farmers, food producers and people to start to re-instate local food as the primary source of nutrition for everybody.

“We are deeply concerned that intensive farming in our area is having a seriously damaging and negative impact that reaches far beyond our own area.”

They added: “Intensively farmed landscapes are green deserts, devoid of wild flowers, insects and birds.”

Sustainable Food Knighton told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that they now aim to connect with other groups in Powys that are campaigning against chicken farms.

From April 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018, there had been 108 of this type of planning application in Powys.

In total 105 had been passed and three refused.