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Retrospective plans to keep glamping pods at Pembrokeshire farms submitted

Glamping pod (Pic: Gerald Blain Associates Limited)

RETROSPECTIVE plans to keep three self-catering glamping pods at two Pembrokeshire farms have been submitted to county planners.

Bill Ridge of Vaynor Farm Ltd, is seeking permission for two ‘pods’ at Vaynor Farm, The Cart House, near Bethesda, and one at Broomley Farm, Sodston, near Narberth, as part of a farm diversification enterprise.

Works on the pods started in 2019, and were complete by 2022.

The applications for the two sites have been submitted following correspondence with the local authority’s enforcement department.

The Broomley Farm application is a resubmission of a previous application, which was turned down by county planners earlier this year.

Agent Gerald Blain Associates Limited, in a supporting statement accompanying the application, said: “Following correspondence from Pembrokeshire County Council planning enforcement department Gerald Blain Associates Ltd have been instructed to submit a retrospective planning application for a farm diversification enterprise at Vaynor Farm, Bethesda.

“Vaynor farm is a 400-acre working dairy farm with a herd of 700 milking cows. The enterprise comprises of three self-catering pods. Two of the pods are situated at the Vaynor homestead and another at the opposite end of the holding at Broomley farm.

“The first unit was sited adjacent to Vaynor farm stead some four years ago and a further two added in subsequent years.  The units have enjoyed successful occupancy rates over several years offering a unique secluded tourism offer on a working dairy farm, more detail of which is outlined within the supporting business plan.”

The statement cited a recent retrospective application for a ‘glamping’ floating houseboat near Lawrenny.

“Planning consent was granted to a similar farm diversification enterprise in December 2019 at New Pencoed, Lawrenny. Although this has since been refused due to S106 elements, officers and the committee supported the application on a farm diversification basis,” the statement said.

The houseboat – which had featured as a holiday destination in the Times and Observer newspapers – has since gained a certificate of lawful development, meaning it may continue to be used.

Gerald Blain Associates Limited said the “unique small low impact tourism development” at the two farms fell within the scope of planning policy, was minimal in scale, and “holds strong similarities to other applications that the authority has sought to grant consent under the same policies”.