PLANS to farm up to 64,000 hens on a farm near Kilgetty are expected to get the go-ahead from county planners tomorrow, April 9, despite a 25,000-strong petition against it.

An application by Gareth Curtis of Langdon Enterprises Ltd, Langdon Farm, made through agent Ian Pick Associates Ltd, seeks to build a free-range egg laying unit on the farm site.

The applicant currently operates two free-range egg-laying units, totalling 32,000-hens free range egg laying unit at Langdon Farm.

The applicants propose a further 32,000 laying hens.

An application for an Environmental Permit for 64,000 birds has been granted by Natural Resources Wales.

The proposed poultry building for the further 32,000 hens, supported by both Begelly/Kilgetty and East Williamston community councils, is 120 metres by 23.47 metres.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), collected a 25,000-strong petition objecting to the application, which was presented to county planners.

The controversial animal group PETA has said: “A proposal has been submitted for the expansion of a ‘free-range’ egg farm in Pembrokeshire that would condemn an additional 32,000 gentle birds at a time – on top of the 32,000 already imprisoned there – to a life of misery and inevitable slaughter.”

Concerns raised by in a letter accompanying the petition include: air quality and health concerns from chicken waste, extra traffic from the increased size,

Negative impact on air quality and potential detrimental effect on human health, wildlife and the environment from Ammonia from chicken waste emitted from the new building into the surrounding area, and a PETA claim that ‘free-range’ farms cause animal suffering.

A report for members, recommending approval, states the majority of concerns raised were addressed within the report, adding: “Of those points not addressed, animal welfare issues are controlled by other legalisation and is therefore not a material planning consideration.”