South West Wales

Hermon slurry lagoon: Pembrokeshire defers plans

Villagers look at the site of the proposed slurry lagoon
Image caption The slurry would be pumped half a mile through from the farm to the lagoon

Plans to create a huge slurry lagoon near a Pembrokeshire village have been deferred by councillors on Tuesday.

Farmer Paul Vizza wants to build an earth-banked lagoon holding up to 2.7m gallons of slurry on Brynfa dairy farm near Hermon.

He has called opposition limited and said proper procedures were followed.

Pembrokeshire's planning committee was told "late representations had raised new issues".

Stephen Jones, director of development, said after legal advice, the issue had been withdrawn from the agenda and he apologised to Mr Vizza.

Villagers are worried about smell and possible health implications from the plans.

The assembly government is considering a request to call in the application.

The 8,800 sq m (95,000 sq ft) site is on agricultural land to the north east of the local road which runs between Hermon and Crymych.

The planning application shows the slurry would be pumped through a series of pipes from Brynfa Farm to the lagoon, around half a mile (0.8km) away.

Campaigners travelled to lobby the meeting outside the council headquarters in Haverfordwest while the meeting takes place.

They would not comment after the meeting but earlier had said they were still hoping the project will be called in for consideration by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Spokesman Len Davies, from Hermon, said: "We have been working on this for 21 months. It's a massive slurry lagoon which is going to be built half a mile from the applicant's farm."

Opponents believe it would be too large and are concerned about possible health effects

"The best case scenario would be for the Welsh Assembly Government to call this in. But even if the application is passed (by Pembrokeshire council on Tuesday) we will be going to judicial review."

Image caption Cow slurry is a valuable liquid by-product of the diary industry

An assembly government spokesperson confirmed that ministers had received a request to call in the planning application and a request to decide whether an environmental impact assessment should be made.

"They are continuing to assess the requests and will issue a decision as soon as possible," said the spokesperson.

'Dilute the smell'

The spokesman explained that ministers had until the council issued its signed and dated notice of decision on the application to make their own decision on the requests.

If they could not make their decision by then, a 'stopper letter' could be issued, preventing the council from granting planning permission until the the call-in request was considered.

Mr Vizza would not comment after the meeting but last month told BBC Wales that opposition to the lagoon scheme was "very limited in the village" and that all proper procedures had been followed.

He said he had to build the lagoon "to comply with new regulations on spreading slurry and to continue in business".

Mr Vizza said he would invite members of the local community to have a look at the site and said there were plans to ease local concerns by using an additive to the slurry to dilute the smell.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites