On 22nd May, our petition was handed in to the Welsh Assembly Petitions Committee, having attracted 4,567 signatures, mostly from Wales and neighbouring English border counties.
We very much welcomed the help and support, both drafting the petition and collecting signatures, of a number of environmental NGOs. These included the Wildlife Trusts, in particular the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, Plantlife, the Woodland Trust, Countryside Restoration Trust, Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries, the Angling Trust/Fish Legal among others as well as a number of high-profile environmental campaigners.
The petition has been mentioned in the local press, on radio and online and seems to have focussed some much needed political attention on the urgent problems surrounding these developments. To see how the debate is evolving, please see the following links:
• 30th April: Letter from Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary, to David Rowlands, Chair of the Petitions Committee;
• 30th May: CPRW B&R to David Rowlands, petition evidence provided in response to Lesley Griffiths letter of 30 April;
• 5th June: Senedd TV Petitions Committee debate and minutes of the debate;
• 12th June: Letter from Welsh Government’s Chief Planning Officer to County Council Heads of Planning.
The Chief Planning Officer’s letter sets out the need to ‘exercise particular care’ when considering applications close to sensitive environmental areas or to homes and schools, and also the need to consider cumulative impacts. While this is most welcome, the letter only addresses the range of problems associated with these applications in very general terms. It remains to be seen whether it has an impact on planning decisions.
During the continued consideration of our petition, we hope to see:
• acknowledgement of the multiple failures in the determination of these applications;
• stricter control of impact on the non-designated natural environment, including ancient woodland;
• clear guidance on the division of responsibility between NRW and determining LPAs;
• NRW acting up to its responsibility to reverse the decline in biodiversity by maintaining objections where negative impacts are likely;
• an end to reliance on conditions which LPAs have no realistic means of effectively enforcing.
• development of guidance on human health issues including proximity to residents;
• a biosecurity policy for minimum separation of intensive poultry developments according to type;
• clear guidance on how LPA decision-making must address cumulative impacts of multiple intensive livestock units on the natural environment and residential amenity;
• Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales address the issue of the lack of effective regulation of intensive poultry units for fewer than 40 thousand birds;
• development of effective regulation to address diffuse agricultural pollution, along the lines of that in place in England and Scotland;
• funding of research to improve the evidence base for assessing the true environmental impacts of intensive livestock farming;
• A moratorium on approval of applications to allow assessment of the cumulative environmental impacts of IPUs already existing – see Wales Environment Link position statement.
Thank you for your support.
We will be continuing to campaign!