A farmer has voiced his frustration at being unable to grow his beef business due to planning application issues with his local council.
Matthew Verity-Talbot, who runs a smallholding near Barrick in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, has battled with Leeds City Council for two years over building a shed to accommodate his herd of suckler cows.
Branding the situation ’a nightmare’, he said: “I requested a 75 by 30ft shed to house my cattle during the winter months and had hoped it would all be sorted this winter as I no longer have access to the fields used last year.
“But the council, after consulting their agricultural specialist, will only allow a shed big enough to accommodate eight cows, not 20, breaching RSPCA animal welfare stocking density standards.
“I would have to sell part of my herd which would be detrimental to getting my beef programme established.
“I am at my wits end.”
He added the process had also taken a financial strain on his business, costing £4,000 in planning fees alone and questioned whether the council was trying to ’bankrupt’ him to prevent the build.
“It is just a joke, with people playing with animal welfare,” he said.
“It seems the council do not want anyone to farm and are determined to make it as difficult as possible.”
A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “A number of considerations need to be taken into account when making a decision on a planning application.
“Anyone whose planning application is refused, has the right to re-submit a revised application or to appeal the decision."