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Planning permission for mid-Wales ‘super dairy’ upheld

DATE: 12 Jun 2014

Plans to build one of Wales’ largest dairies in Welshpool, Powys, are now expected to be implemented after the Administrative Court dismissed a challenge brought by an animal welfare charity.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals had challenged the decision of the Welsh Ministers to grant planning permission for the 1,000-cow “super dairy” at Lower Leighton Farm, claiming that the Ministers had failed to take several relevant considerations into account. The Ministers’ inspector had recommended that planning permission should be refused because of the harmful impact of the scheme on the landscape and the settings of various heritage assets, including the Grade I-listed Powis Castle. The Ministers agreed with the inspector that this harm would be “considerable”, but concluded that this was outweighed by the economic benefits of the proposal.

Hickinbottom J held that the Ministers’ judgment was one that was rationally open to them and that no error of law had been made. Click here for the judgment. 

Gwion Lewis acted for the Welsh Ministers. Click here for the BBC’s coverage of the judgment and the background to the case.