Plans to build two large chicken sheds housing up to 100,000 birds have been shelved.
Wrexham Council’s planning committee last week rejected an application for two intensive poultry farming units at on the Wrexham-Chesire border at Mulsford Farm in Sarn.
Approval for the facility, where chickens would have been bred for meat production, had been backed by the authority’s planning officials.
However, after carrying out a site visit on Friday 13th July, planning committee members decided not to grant permission because of concerns over the visual impact on the surrounding countryside.
Marchwiel councillor John Pritchard, who has a similar facility in his ward, said: “It is a great impact at 108 metres long and as you walk the stretch of land, it is a huge building for a site like that.
“I cannot go along with the application and I do believe that in terms of the impact on the countryside and the special landscape area, those policies do cover this application.”
His comments were echoed by local councillor Rodney Skelland, who said: “It will be quite visually dominant from the Threapwood side especially.
“Also you have to remember the other issues involved including the effects on the living conditions of the nearby residents. This is regarding noise, smell and traffic movements.”
Speaking earlier this month James Huxley, who is part of family-run DJ Huxley Farms Ltd, which is behind the application said that expanding into poultry production would secure the future of the business, which has been running since the 1860s.
Mr Huxley also offered reassurances that the welfare of the birds would be taken seriously following a petition with more 9,000 signatures, which was submitted against the plans by animal rights activists PETA.
Meanwhile Wrexham Council’s lead planning control officer, Matthew Phillips, said he did not believe the development would have a significant on the area.
Addressing councillors on Friday, he said: “From our perspective, even though it’s been suggested it’s an industrial development, it is an agricultural development based on the definition of agriculture in part 336 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
“From a visual impact perspective, the site is within a special landscape area. It’s acknowledged that there will be a visual impact associated with it and a degree of visual change, but I accept the findings of the landscape and visual impact assessment that it will not have a significantly harmful impact on the rural landscape.”
However, members of the committee voted by a majority of 10 votes to reject the application with just two abstentions.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).