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Welsh farmers warned not to get caught out when constructing slurry or silage stores

20th September 2021

Roger Parry & Partners are warning Welsh farmers to be aware of Natural Resources Wales’ requirement to notify them when constructing or reconstructing a silage or slurry store.

The requirement to notify Natural Resources Wales (NRW) 14 days before construction starts is for any new, substantially improved or reconstructed store used for the storage of silage or slurry. The notification is also a Cross Compliance requirement under Statutory Management Requirement ( SMR) 1 – Water Protection.

Gail Jenkins, Consultant with Roger Parry & Partners, said, “We regularly work with farmers to successfully gain planning permission for new stores for the storage of silage or slurry on the farm. Many farmers are unaware, however, of this requirement to notify NRW 14 days before the construction work starts. Those that don’t notify NRW risk prosecution or an unlimited fine.”

According to Natural Resources Wales the farmer is responsible for making sure the rules are met. The rules apply to the land owner if they control, manage or look after a farm or an installation on a property, for example as a: farmer or land manager; tenant farmer – unless you can prove someone else, for example the landowner, is jointly or wholly responsible.

There are a lot of rules to take into consideration before construction work starts on a store for silage or slurry. Considerations must be made relating to the location of the store, what exactly is being stored, and whether planning permission is required. There are specific rules you must adhere to for the storage of slurry, particularly for earth-banked stores. NRW state farmers must first find out what permissions they need from which authorities.    

If a breach of the regulations is confirmed, action will be taken according to the Natural Resources Wales Enforcement and Prosecution policy and procedures. Possible action depends on the seriousness of the breach and impact on the environment. They include:

advice on remedying a minor breach; warning letter noting the breach, which may be taken into account in the event of a future breach; legal notice; formal caution or prosecution. If prosecuted and convicted in either the Magistrates or the Crown Court, you may face an unlimited fine.

Roger Parry & Partners’ surveyors and architectural technologists can assist in any aspect of agricultural planning.