‘Environmental vandalism’: A bid to construct another slurry pit next to a ‘gem’ of the Ceredigion coastline has been lodged despite outcry over another similar application for a location only ‘two fields away’.
An application to build a 0.25-hectare animal waste lagoon near the mouth of the River Teifi in Hafod, Y Ferwig, Cardigan, was submitted to Ceredigion County Council planners in March by applicant Morris Davies.
Members of the Save The Teifi campaign group have urged others to submit formal objections to its construction before the consultation period closes on 31 July.
Cardigan firm Stepside Agricultural Contractors submitted an unrelated partially-retrospective application last month for the excavation of a bio-fertilizer pit for storage of food industry by-products like slurry at Ffynnoncyff Farm in the same small village. Opponents also only have days to object to the plans on the planning portal.
Both sites are ‘fields away’ from renowned tourism hotspot and area of natural and historical significance, Mwnt – which is operated by the National Trust. The conservation organisation has opposed the Ffynnoncyff Farm application due to its proximity to Mwnt, which it calls ‘a gem in the cornerstone of the Ceredigion tourism industry’.
But campaigners have now switched their attention to the application by Mr Davies, owner of Hafod Farm, and have highlighted deepening concerns over polluting the Teifi and contamination of nearby water supplies.
In response to Mr Davies' bid, which contains almost no information about the plans other than design sketches showing its location, one resident Jennifer Hawkyard said: “The site of the new unlined slurry pit is only a short distance from the source of the Ferwig tributary to the Teifi.
“Since the Teifi is one of the most polluted rivers in the whole of the UK I would have thought that proposing an unlined slurry pit anywhere close to its water source would be a big no no.
“We all know how slurry already runs off the land into the watercourses and neighbouring residents are already having issues with water contamination due to similar poor application of slurry to the land.
“I strongly object to the location of this slurry pit and would encourage the people who are making decisions to once again look past their own navel gazing and perhaps to the future generations who have to deal with the mess that we are handing them.
“Wales has a Future Generations Act. Putting in a new slurry pit goes directly against helping anyone in the future or the environment for that matter.”
But developers like Stepside Agricultural Contractors argue the sites provide dedicated stores for food industry by-products which would then be used as an organic based fertiliser.
A resident says years ago she was victim to a farm pollution incident where the slurry-soaked soil from a lagoon ended up in the water supply to which her home is connected.
One of the lead campaigners – in calling on people to object - said: “Slurry Lagoon Two. The sequel! You thought one slurry lagoon was bad but now there's another!
“And this one will definitely pollute our already besieged Teifi!
“Hafod Farm is planning to build a huge unlined slurry lagoon just a few metres from the source of the Ferwig tributary which finds its way to the Teifi estuary.
“Its proximity to Mwnt may well be a little further, but not much, and it's extremely likely to have a similar impact on ground water, tourism and air quality for the surrounding community.
“We have even less time to object to this blatant environmental vandalism in the name of intensive farming.
“There has been very limited publicity for this application.
"But new regulations on slurry storage are putting farmers under great financial strain and do little to protect the environment."
Although the deadline for responding to the application is close, the council’s highways and environmental services department said, as things stand, there is ‘insufficient information for the application to be fully appraised’.
The Cambrian News has contacted the applicants.