EAC report ‘Water Quality in Rivers’ & CPRW B&R Poultry & Planning Guide

EAC report ‘Water Quality in Rivers’ & CPRW B&R Poultry & Planning Guide

River Lugg by Sned Wood Photo credit: Gareth Rees-Roberts

The plight of the River Wye has been very much in the news, and on 13th January the (English) Environmental Audit Committee published an important report ‘WATER QUALITY IN RIVERS‘. There are clearly a number of pressures contributing to the deterioration of our rivers but the report summary contains the following statement about the Wye: ‘Intensive livestock and poultry farming is putting enormous pressure on particular catchments, such as the one feeding the River Wye. As many as twenty million chickens are being reared there and their waste may be raising the river’s phosphorus levels. Planning permission seems to be granted for individual units without any cumulative assessment being made of the overall impact of all the intensive farms in the area… New poultry farms should not be granted planning permission in catchments exceeding their nutrient budgets.

If you would like to add your voice to those expressing concern about local intensive pig and poultry applications, please see our POULTRY AND PLANNING GUIDE, which is intended as a quick guide to the environmental impacts of intensive pig and poultry developments and as a resource for use when responding to planning applications.

Our response to Powys Climate Change Strategy Consultation

Our response to Powys Climate Change Strategy Consultation

CPRW Brecon & Radnor has submitted online and written responses to the Powys Climate Change Strategy Consultation. We were very disappointed that the draft strategy document does not, in our view, address key issues or key potential actions. In particular, the draft fails to recognise that any measures to reduce climate change risks must operate alongside specific measures to reverse ecological damage and the degradation of the environment. It follows that the draft fails to address the critical role in the protection of our environment which the Powys planning system must play. We have made a number of recommendations which we trust will be considered in the next stage of development of the Strategy. Read the full responses here: written response, online response.

New poultry objections uploaded

New poultry objections uploaded

CPRW Brecon & Radnor objections to the proposed poultry developments at Tan House, Dolau and Llwyncutta Farm, Rhayader, have been uploaded to the website on the Sustainable Powys page. Readers will see that, in our view, the information supplied in support of these two applications is both insufficient and inconsistent. These applications are, sadly, not untypical.

Friends of the Lugg & Walking With The Wye

Friends of the Lugg & Walking With The Wye

Catch up with the background to and the progress of the Friends of the Lugg Citizen Science water monitoring project on our new webpage. This joint project between CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch and the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust is now under way and has trained 40 volunteers to monitor water quality in the Welsh stretch of the River Lugg. The data collected will help build understanding of what is happening in the Lugg catchment and what needs to be done to restore the river to health. READ MORE HERE.


July 2021 – WALKING WITH THE WYE is a month-long pilgrimage along the River Wye from its source to where it ends at the Severn estuary, to celebrate this magnificent river and its vital tributaries, and to raise awareness of the environmental destruction it is facing. Between the 3rd July and 1st August walks and events are taking place along the Wye from the source at Pumlumon down to Chepstow. DOWNLOAD PDF FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN TAKE PART.

Presteigne Dark Skies

Presteigne Dark Skies

Presteigne Dark Skies aims to put lighting design at the forefront of transforming Presteigne into the first International Dark Skies Association Dark Sky Community in England and Wales.  This will be done by using intelligent and sustainable lighting technology.

Lighting accounts for nearly 6% of the global CO2 emissions and 20% of the electricity used worldwide. Besides blighting the view of the night sky, inefficient lighting wastes over £1bn a year in the UK alone. Light pollution has drastic effects on the environment and well-being of all humans, animals and plants.  For example, Presteigne is home to the endangered Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros), which adversely changes its feeding patterns in response to bright street-lights.  Lighting alters our perception of the night and blocks our access to our oldest heritage, the stars.

The town’s night-time ambience and its residents suffer from Presteigne’s excessive and outdated lighting scheme. Many complain about light nuisance.  The good news is, with the help of the Town Council, Powys County Council have agreed to replace all street-lighting in Presteigne with new low energy ‘dark skies compliant’ lighting, starting in April 2021.  As a preamble to this, a demonstration of new ‘intelligent’ dark skies lighting took place in the vicinity of Broad Street and the High Street in March 21.

The Town Council aims to use a holistic approach to address several issues with the help of a new lighting masterplan. By employing the latest lighting and control technology, Presteigne will be able to reduce energy waste and reduce our impact on climate change, become wildlife friendly and an exemplary Dark Sky destination.  It will rejuvenate Presteigne’s night-time ambience and economy by attracting visitors interested in the dark sky experience.

The Presteigne dark skies street lighting trial has now been running for about a month. If you would like to let the Town Council have your views, email Presteigne and Norton Town Council on pntc@hotmail.com.

A video has been produced which illustrates Presteigne’s dark skies masterplan, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TqShuiTvx0&t=11s

If you would like to help Presteigne achieve International Dark Skies Community status, a crowdfunding site has been set up, see:  https://uk.gofundme.com/f/qsv9n-presteigne-dark-sky-masterplan

CALL FOR CITIZEN SCIENTISTS !!

CALL FOR CITIZEN SCIENTISTS !!

OUR RIVERS ARE FAILING.

Take a look at our new page (LINK HERE) and find out how you can befriend your local river and join us to use people-power to understand
what is happening and what we can do to save the Lugg and Upper Wye.
BRECON AND RADNOR CPRW is teaming up with RADNORSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST to organise monitoring of the Lugg streams and rivers. This complements monitoring of the main Wye being undertaken by FRIENDS OF THE UPPER WYE.
Both projects urgently need volunteers.

River Lugg, a tributary of the Wye, near Presteigne. Photo: Gareth Rees Roberts

Powys Poultry Shed Planning Applications

Powys Poultry Shed Planning Applications

Dear All,

Here is the latest update of Powys Poultry Shed Planning Applications since 2015. (Our interactive map can be found here.)

I trust that you will agree that the number of units and the fact that it is still increasing is cause for the most serious concern.

You may have seen the publicity over Ceredigion’s welcome refusal of one broiler application at Ty Nant, Talybont. Powys County Council (CC) has twenty one applications awaiting decision.

Following the Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Planning Position Statement and Interim Planning Advice re protection of Special Areas of Conservation from excess phosphates, a number of Powys applicants have made submissions that Gamber (agricultural contractors near Hereford) will accept all manure for spreading elsewhere or feeding to Anaerobic Digesters. On 8/3/2021, NRW has approved one such plan for Dol y Dre (150,000 broilers added to existing 130,000 broilers) 20/1226/FUL.

One application has been approved (Pertheirin 19/1941/FUL).
One is at appeal (Forest View 18/0826/FUL).
One application was refused following the Planning Committee vote against the Officer’s recommendation to approve. Refused on landscape grounds (Frochass 19/0938/FUL).

SUMMARY OF POWYS SITUATION
There have been 167 applications since 1/7/2015.
1 was invalid (but applied for again and approved).
1 was withdrawn (but applied for again and approved).
6 were refused:

  • 1 was reapplied for, refused again and refused at Appeal (2 refusals)
  • 1 was reapplied for and approved
  • 1 was reapplied for and is still active
  • 1 is at Appeal
  • 1 was very recent (Feb. 2021)

There are 21 live applications:

  • 7 live applications in the Wye catchment
  • 14 live applications in Montgomery, north of the Wye catchment.

There have been many objections to the environmental impacts of these projects but Powys CC does not publish these. There have been many appeals for help to the Council, NRW and the Welsh Government.

The major factor in approval has been NRW’s statutory planning responses declaring satisfaction with each of the 138 applications approved.

We try to stick to the facts in these updates but no-one could deny that this is an astonishingly permissive record which continues against a background of biodiversity collapse, climate change emergency and increased understanding of pandemics.

Stay safe and well – we only wish our countryside could do the same.

Best wishes,

Dr Christine Hugh-Jones

Secretary: Brecon & Radnor Branch
Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales

BRANCH OBJECTION TO PROPOSED BROILER UNITS AT FROCHAS FARM, WELSHPOOL

BRANCH OBJECTION TO PROPOSED BROILER UNITS AT FROCHAS FARM, WELSHPOOL


The Brecon & Radnor branch has submitted an objection to planning application 19/0938/FUL, a proposal for three poultry units to house 150,000 broiler chickens. The application, which has drawn much local opposition, is to be determined by the Planning Committee on Thursday 4th February. The Planning Officer is recommending approval. Our objection draws attention to serious deficiencies in the planning application information, and significant errors and omissions in the Planning Officer’s report to the members of the Planning Committee. Read the objection HERE.

Branch objection to proposed broiler units at Frochas Farm, Welshpool

Branch objection to proposed broiler units at Frochas Farm, Welshpool

The Brecon & Radnor branch has submitted an objection to planning application 19/0938/FUL, a proposal for three poultry units to house 150,000 broiler chickens. The application, which has drawn much local opposition, is to be determined by the Planning Committee on Thursday 4th February. The Planning Officer is recommending approval. Our objection draws attention to serious deficiencies in the planning application information, and significant errors and omissions in the Planning Officer’s report to the members of the Planning Committee. Read the objection HERE.

NRW report on the River Wye and phosphates

NRW report on the River Wye and phosphates

On 17th December 2020 NRW published the long awaited ‘Compliance assessment of the River Wye SAC against phosphorus targets’. The report concludes that over 60% of the River Wye and its catchments fail against phosphate limits.

NRW will be working with local planning authorities, including Powys, with a view to ensuring that proposed new developments which have the potential to increase phosphate levels in the river and its catchments are not approved unless they can demonstrate phosphate neutrality or betterment. The Regulatory Position Statement and Planning Position Statement provide some further information but specific advice on the assessment of planning proposals in relation to phosphates is still in development.

The report does not identify the major sources of the Wye’s excess phosphate and NRW state that in the accompanying press release they have not found a direct connection between phosphate levels and the rapid increase in recent years in the numbers of poultry units in the catchment. This is not surprising given the complex and various pathways by which phosphates may reach river waters and the potential for ‘legacy phosphate’ built up in soils over time to leach into rivers years later. However, the most recent modelling carried out by the Environment Agency attributes 66% of phosphates in the cross-border Upper Wye and Lugg sub-catchments to arable and livestock farming, 25% to sewage treatment works, with the remaining 9% attributed to other sources including highways, urban areas, industry, combined sewer overflows and other sources of sewage.