CONTROVERSIAL plans for a 38,000 bird chicken farm have been knocked back.

Members of Conwy’s planning committee refused to back the plans for a poultry rearing unit, including silos, at Y Fron, Twll Llwynog near Abergele.

The proposed unit, which had been recommended for refusal, consisted of a rectangular building, measuring 91.44m by 21.34m, with a ridge height of 5.86m.

The birds would have remained in the unit for  16 weeks at a time, with the whole building fully cleaned down internally before a  new flock is introduced.

Plans for this application had been due to go before councillors last June but were withdrawn beforehand after receiving 111 objections in public consultation. The recent application was opposed by another 140 people during further public consultation over the Christmas period, as well as from Llyr Gruffydd AM and Darren Millar AM.

The refusal of this latest application has been dubbed by residents of the nearby Fox Hole hamlet as a victory for "common sense".

Jackie Roberts responded: "There is much relief and gratitude to see that common sense has prevailed following this ridiculous application. It’s a sensible decision by the council following the massive number of objections compared to the few in support.

"Should this issue be raised again, our stance will not change. We are just as determined now as we were at the start and we will continue to oppose and do everything we can to stop these factory units."

Neighbour Denzil Hughes agreed: "As a community we are delighted that the planning committee rejected this application. This now ensures the well being of future generations for years to come."

It's difficult to imagine that, with the strength and solidity of the opposition, an appeal is likely, but that may well depend upon the feed or poultry company who back these applications rather than the applicants. If it comes though, we'll be ready!

Heather Gartside said: "We do unfortunately think that they will appeal – the big chick and feed companies who apparently back these application don’t give up easily - although whether a vote of 12 to one against makes any difference, I don’t know.

"It's difficult to imagine that, with the strength and solidity of the opposition, an appeal is likely, but if it comes back, we'll be ready."

Abergele Town Council echoed resistance to the development, writing to the committee to object on the basis of unsuitability of the road, proximity to other properties, smell, impact of traffic on foundations, town centre traffic, night-time traffic, manure, noise, bats and the proximity to the hospital.

Cllr Ifor Lloyd said: “Farming is very dear to my heart and I can fully empathise with the applicants that they want to develop something on their farm. It’s not a very big farm so it comes down to a question of viability.

“On the flip side it’s a very difficult site. There’s a lot of infrastructure that needs to be changed. The viability of this site is in question because even if it was up and running it would be very difficult to make money there.”

Cllr Greg Robbins said: “As members know we have always supported farming applications as best we can. However there are some very valid concerns here.

“And I think one of the main ones we have to look at is the surface water and the drainage. I note from our flood risk officer the comments that the applicant has not made direct contact with highways to discuss the proposals.

“A full connectivity survey of the highway drainage network would be required and there is no guarantee that the hydraulic capacity exists in the network.

“So given that I think we are heading to one conclusion that this unfortunately is not viable at this time.” Councillors voted to refuse planning permission.