A PETITION calling on Pembrokeshire planners to overturn a refusal of permission for a farm barn attraction, built after the owner lost his cattle herd to Bovine TB, has attracted nearly 2,500 signatures.
Stuart Williams of Home Farm, Leweston, near Camrose, was recently refused retrospective permission to retain the Willhome Farm Barn farm park – and ancillary buildings – built in June 2022.
The site – whose facilities were used by council educational providers – is home to rabbits, llamas, donkeys, poultry, owls, goats, ponies and pigs, along with a café building, public conveniences, a children’s play area, and parking.
A supporting statement by agent Aled Thomas Planning Design Ltd said the diversification had taken place in 2022 after the Williams family had to lose their entire milking/dairy and beef herd due to a severe outbreak of Bovine TB on their farm, with regular visits from educational groups in the school term, and had “a massive impact on the lives of every pupil who attends”.
The application was refused under delegated powers due to highway safety concerns and fears it would generate additional foul water flows which are likely to result in an increase in phosphate levels in the Cleddau River.
The change.org petition, Grant Planning Permission for Willhome Farm Barn in Pembrokeshire, was set up by Hook-based Jessica Austin, and has attracted nearly 2,500 signatures to date.
It reads: “This petition begins with a deeply personal story. During the lockdown, a family in Pembrokeshire lost their herd to TB.
“In response to this devastating loss, they diversified as advised by the Welsh government and created a beautiful farm barn for all children and adults to enjoy within our county.
“They’ve done so much more than that though; they’ve installed a defibrillator, donated generously to charity, and helped countless families in numerous ways.
“Despite these contributions, the county council continues to deny planning permission for Willhome Farm Barn with what seem like trivial excuses.
“This decision not only affects this resilient family but also impacts schools attended with over 6,000 pupils, by adults from local wellbeing centres and families with children who have autism or learning difficulties like mine.
“It’s important to note that there are no apparent issues with existing amenities. Roads or waterways. The refusal of planning permission seems unjustified and is causing unnecessary distress within our community.
“We need your support now more than ever! By signing this petition, you’re standing up against bureaucratic red tape and advocating for an establishment that has proven its worth time after time through its service to our community.
“Let’s ensure Willhome Farm Barn receives the planning permission it deserves so it can continue enriching lives in Pembrokeshire.”
Pembrokeshire County Council has been contacted for a response.