Animal welfare charities and local residents have reacted with disappointment over the failure of a legal challenge to a £3.5m 1,000-cow ‘megadairy’ in mid Wales.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals said it was “dismayed” after last week losing a judicial review at the High Court into Welsh planning minister Carl Sargeant’s decision to approve the dairy, at Lower Leighton Farm near Welshpool.

Sargeant green-lit the plans last October, despite a recommendation for refusal by planning officers.

The Campaign Against Leighton Farm Expansion said local residents would ensure conditions on the planning application were upheld.

Lower Leighton Farm owner Fraser Jones - who supplies milk to MÜller Wiseman - said the development would quadruple milk output. “I will work to build bridges with the local community, and run the dairy in a professional and sympathetic way,” he added.