Shropshire Council

New interim guidance for Livestock Unit (LSU) applications.

In the past, Shropshire Council has relied on the national guidance and thresholds for ammonia published by the Environment Agency (EA) to be followed when applying for an Environmental Permit for intensive livestock units, published in 2012. Since this guidance was issued, a number of changes have occurred. Shropshire has seen a rapid increase in the number of livestock units, particularly for poultry, and is now a hot spot for permitted and non-permitted sites compared with the rest of England. Shropshire already has high background levels of airborne ammonia and nitrogen deposition, and a large number of international wildlife sites that are sensitive to ammonia and nitrogen.

Statutory Agencies, such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales are all reviewing the evidence base and modelling methods to re-assess their guidance. In the meantime, in order to meet Shropshire Council’s statutory and planning policy requirements, the Council has issued the following interim guidance: Shropshire Council Interim Guidance Note GN2 (Version 1, April 2018): Assessing the impact of ammonia and Nitrogen on designated sites and Natural Assets from new and expanding livestock units (LSUs)

Shropshire Council is liaising with the Environment Agency, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales on this issue. They have been formally consulted on the Interim Guidance Note and we will be updating the guidance as soon as more information is available and the national reviews have been completed. Please check this website for the most recent version of the interim guidance note before submitting an application for a Livestock Unit.

Screening distances for international sites and SSSIs have now been extended to 10km. This is to take into account Natural England’s Impact Risk Zones and the recent ‘Dutch Nitrogen Case’ (Cooperatie Mobilisation for the Environment UA and Vereniging Leefmilieu v College van gedeputeerde staten van Limburg and College van gedeputeerde staten van Gelderland C-293/17 C394/17). Any development adding more ammonia or nitrogen deposition to international sites (SACs or Ramsar Sites) will have to demonstrate no adverse effect or a betterment on the integrity of the sensitive habitats or species for which the sites have been designated.

More detailed guidance on how to assess wildlife sites for sensitivity to ammonia pollution will be added to this website shortly.

We welcome feedback on this new guidance note and would like to provide links to practical guidance on ammonia reduction and mitigation techniques, to help farm businesses achieve the reductions necessary to obtain planning permission. We will also be providing a ‘tool kit’ of web links and welcome any suggestions for the tool kit.

New validation checklist

Any planning application submitted for a livestock Unit will now have to submit a completed validation checklist with the application form. The checklist is a helpful guide to the documents that must accompany the application for it to be validated. It also covers the required documentation to cover effects on public health such as noise, dust and odour.

For further information or help with your application,
please call 01743 258512 or email