CONTROVERSIAL plans for a large pig farm in Montgomery should be approved in order to avoid more low-welfare meat being imported, according to supporters of the application.

Since the County Times reported last month that hundreds of residents, including TV naturalist Iolo Williams, had opposed the application, others have hit back at their claims that the farm would be “intensive”, cause bad smells and lead to traffic problems.

The submitted plans, which can be viewed on the Powys County Council (PCC) website, could see two livestock buildings, housing almost 2,000 pigs, built on land next to Hill Farm.

One local business owner who got in touch with the County Times said: “A farm in the countryside that wants to rear pigs for the residents of Wales should be supported, where else would you put a farm – in the middle of the town/city?

“If our country lanes can support refuse lorries from the council, why cant they support the same lorries from businesses trying to support our economy?”

Others left comments on Facebook, including Ilan Jones who said: “Pork is one of the most eaten meats in the UK, unfortunately a majority of it is imported from other countries such as Denmark.

“UK agriculture needs the public’s support to allow these types of planning applications to go through in order to feed our own country without reliance on imported low-welfare foods.”

Esme Jaye Owens added: “Ridiculous. Everyone complains there are no jobs, this will provide jobs. Everyone says that they would buy British or Welsh if it’s available, well this makes it available.

“There isn’t a welfare issue or DEFRA and the RSPCA would be involved. It’s just people not wanting it in their back yard, which is really ironic considering it is the countryside that was made up of farming communities.”

Llandyssil farmer Glenn Lloyd wrote an open letter (County Times ‘Letter of the Week’, September 15) expressing his support for the business and saying diversification is necessary in order to keep family farms alive.

“Farms are the backbone of our community and our local economy with most farms in Llandyssil and surrounding areas being mixed livestock farms, and have been for generations, unfortunately like every business these farms have to naturally grow.”

Despite this apparent flurry of support, it seems most residents do not want to see the plans approved. A new 49-signature petition opposing the application has been received by PCC’s planning department from residents of Abermule.

This is the second petition – the first included 105 signatures from Llandyssil and Green Lane residents – sent to PCC, as well as more than 20 letters of objection.