AN appeal against a decision by councillors to refuse plans for a chicken farm near Newtown has been dismissed.

In May 2019, an application by Gareth Woosnam for a 32,000-egg production unit at his farm, Upper Gwestydd, Cefn Mawr near Newtown was rejected by Powys County Council’s planning committee, on highways and ecological grounds.

A previous application had also been rejected in November 2017 following a campaign opposing it, which included a petition signed by 5,618 people against the proposal.

A dairy farm at one point, Upper Gwestydd reared cows and a flock of sheep, but the family had stressed the need to diversify so that future generations can continue to farm there.

Planning inspector Richard Jenkins said that the traffic movements associated with the application had been explained as a “trade-off” with the former dairy operation.

But he said that Upper Gwestydd had stopped being a dairy farm at least 26 years ago.

Mr Jenkins, said:  “Having regard to the details of such movements, there is little doubt in my mind that the development would represent an intensification of use of the highway network relative to the existing operations at the site, with the size of the necessary vehicles not insignificant.

“The development would exacerbate already challenging highway conditions along the U2621.”

The application had said that egg collections would be twice weekly, and that feed would be delivered fortnightly.

The delivery and removal of birds would be every 14 months.

He added that no evidence had been submitted that a “modern milking parlour” would need the level of visits, and no evidence has been submitted to back up their claims.

Mr Jenkins added: “There is no doubt in my mind that the risk to highway safety in this case significantly outweighs the need and positive benefits of the scheme.

“For this reason, and having considered all matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.”

An appeal for costs made by the applicant was also refused.