Fish Legal has issued proceedings in the High Court in Cardiff challenging the decision by Powys County Council to grant planning permission to double the size of an industrial poultry unit near Builth Wells in the River Wye catchment from 90,000 birds to 180,000.
Fish Legal warned that the Council has not assessed the effect of tonnes of additional poultry manure that will be turned into digestate and spread on land in the River Wye catchment.
Powys County Council has confirmed that it intends to defend the claim.
The River Wye is a highly protected habitat by law. It is designated as a Special Area of Conservation because it supports species such as the river weed ranunculus, white clawed crayfish, sea lamprey, brook lamprey, twaite shad, Atlantic salmon and allis shad. However, currently 60% of the River Wye and its catchment fail environmental targets for phosphates; a key pollutant that causes algal blooms on the river and adversely affects its ecology.