Wrexham Council is this week (April 25) considering plans by Aviagen Turkeys to construct a 20,000-bird turkey farm, plus a separate application by Talwrn Farm to increase egg production at a north-east Wales facility.

Aviagen Turkeys has sent in a planning application to the council for a total of six buildings in Llay where poultry will be reared. Provision of a new access road to the buildings and feed silos by the company was also sought for in the proposal.

According to the company, its present rearing space was constructed 30-40 years ago. Currently, it cannot meet the conditions for rearing pedigree turkeys.

Wrexham Council’s planning report showed that prior to deciding on Rackery Lane in Llay, Aviagen Turkeys had actually discounted nine potential sites for the turkey farm.

They were considered unsuitable due to the fact that they did not provide sufficient biosecurity – that is, keeping birds adequately away from other farms/areas of open water where wildfowl flock.

Insufficient biosecurity

Often, wild birds carrying avian influenza mix with poultry close to open water resulting in the spread of the illness.

Restrictions that forced poultry to be kept indoors in order to stop avian influenza from spreading were lifted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs earlier this month.

Four of the 51 nearby properties raised local concerns concerning noise, pollution, as well as traffic volumes.

Before the Wrexham Council decided to grant the company planning permission, the head of environment and planning Lawrence Isted had this to say: “I am satisfied that the applicant has provided a reasoned and robust justification for proposing this isolated agricultural building, given their specialised processes and locational needs.

He further stated: “I am also satisfied that the proposed development site strikes a reasonable balance between being sustainably located adjacent to existing facilities without causing detriment to neighbouring residential amenity, or the visual amenity of the area.

Double egg production proposal

A proposal by Talwrn Farm to double egg production at its site located in Legacy is also being considered by Wrexham Council. The company sought permission to erect an extension to its current barn egg production unit to enable it to accommodate 15,700 more birds, and also to erect two feed silos. The number of birds at the site will be doubled to 31,400.

In its report, Wrexham Council recommended that Talwrn Farm be granted the planning permission.

Isted was quoted saying: “I am satisfied that the nature of the additional built development associated with the accepted use of the site for the housing of barn laying chickens is acceptable.”

He concluded: “The building will be located adjacent to an existing building and would satisfactorily sit within the existing landscape. The additional traffic movements will be minimal. I therefore recommend accordingly.”