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Caerphilly Council rejects glamping pod plan over ‘increased loss of open countryside’

Ty Isaf Farm glamping pods In Bedwas (Pic: Reading Agricultural Consultants Ltd)

A BID to expand a “glamping” site near Bedwas has been rejected by Caerphilly County Borough Council because of an “increased loss of open countryside”.

The owners of Ty Isaf Farm already have four holiday accommodation “pods” on their land but wanted to space them further apart to “enhance the privacy and quiet enjoyment of the area for each guest”.

The farm dates back to the 1550s and has been owned by the Davies family for the past 120 years.

Ty Isaf is a working farm, where the Davies family rears horses and around 100 sheep on their 200 acres of land, planning documents show.

As well as using the land for agriculture, the owners decided to go into “glamping” – a type of upmarket camping – because they wanted to “diversify their income through a sustainable tourism business” in a bid to “ensure generational succession of the family farm”
Each pod offers self-catering accommodation for holiday-makers and is located in a field behind the main farmhouse, next to a fishing lake.

The “sustainable” pods are made of timber with their own washroom facilities.

In a planning statement submitted on behalf of the Davies family, Reading Agricultural Consultants Ltd said the design and size of the pods, together with the lay of the land, would “ensure that there would be limited visibility of the pods from surrounding viewpoints”.

Planning officers agreed the pods “would not be overbearing” and their location “would not impact local residential amenity”.

But the council said the new proposal would mean “increasing the overall site area occupied by the tourism use”.

The subsequent “increased loss of open countryside and the fact that the pods do not show a clear visual relationship with each other” would mean the proposal was non-compliant with the council’s own planning policies “and result in the diversification of the open countryside being detrimental to the North Caerphilly Special Landscape Area”, planners added in their report.