The Green Party has condemned the decision to give to the go ahead to plans for a 1000 cow dairy in Powys in spite of the public enquiry inspector saying it should be refused and deep opposition from local people.
The Planning Minister admitted that there would be social and environmental implications but that these were outweighed by the economic benefits.
The public enquiry inspector had refused the application on the basis of a number of very significant considerations including:
-Residents' health, including that of children at the nearby local primary school.
-Slurry spreading and the disposal of waste water
-The impact on residents of odour, noise and the need for pest control.
-The effect on the character and appearance of the area.
– Human Rights.
However the Planning Minister, Carl Sargeant, overturned this decision saying: "I agree with the inspector that these are relevant issues, but I also consider that the economic aspects of the proposed development are a main consideration in the determination of this application".
Green Party Spokesperson, Caroline Allen, said "It is shocking that the Minister is willing to put short term economic gain for the few ahead of the health of residents and significant long term implications on the surrounding area."Caroline added 'The Green Party is opposed to factory farming because we understand that rather than being an answer to the developing food crisis it is actually a key driver of rising food prices across the globe, as well as having many other damaging impacts such as those listed by the public enquiry inspector. Big agribusinesses produce cheap food and large profits while externalising the cost, which is paid by local communities such as those in Powys and also further afield. Food grown in other countries that could be used to feed local people is instead shipped over to feed our cows. The industrial dairy cow can no longer live on grass."
Industrial animal farming and its demand for grain and soya for animal feed is a key factor in global food prices rise.
Caroline added: "As well as huge inputs of food this industrial farming is also heavily reliant on water and drugs, such as antibiotics, and produces masses of toxic waste.
"These large scale units impact negatively on small local farmers who are exactly the sort of producers we need to be supporting to ensure our future food security.
"The Green Party will continue to campaign against mega-farms- including the mega pig unit at Foston- and push for a re-orientation of farming towards sustainable, local farms producing healthy food."