Family of farmers to keep their land after plans for 45-acre business park scrapped

  • Video report by ITV Wales' Rural Affairs Correspondent Hannah Thomas

A family farm in the Vale of Glamorgan will no longer be used as part of a 45-acre business park after the local council quashed the plans.

Planning permission had recently been granted for the new development to be built at Model Farm on Port Road.

The retraction comes as there are calls for more protection to be given to tenant farmers in Wales.

The Jenkins family rent the land near Cardiff Airport and were originally asked to leave their home by the end of July next year.

Four generations of their family have worked on the farm since arriving in 1935.

More than 25% of Welsh farmers rent the land they work on and face growing challenges to keep their homes and businesses.

The Jenkins family have rented the land since 1935. Credit: Rob Browne/WalesOnline

The new owners are likely to resubmit the proposal with the land being a part of the Vale of Glamorgan's local development plan.

Rhys Jenkins lives at Model Farm with his wife Kelly, their two daughters and his father Gethin.

He said the uncertainty has made it difficult to plan anything.

"If plans do go ahead, they plan on flattening the house and the whole farm, so it's trying to find somewhere to put a roof over our head".

The new business park was thought to create more than 3,000 jobs and bring in £94 million in wages each year. The council said it would help support the local economy.

Rhy's father, Gethin, acknowledges how important jobs are for the community.

"They need to have extra employment or a sustainable income, but is it going to be local people that actually work in these places?

"If it's airport related industry and high-tech industry, are some of these firms going to fetch in specialists from elsewhere?"

More than 1 in 4 Welsh farmers rent the land they work on. Credit: Rob Browne/WalesOnline

The family rear beef cattle and grow cereal crops and wildflower. They sell the wildflower seeds across Wales.

Local campaigner, Maxine Levett, explains how the Jenkins family are part of the local community.

"Gethin and his son provide hay and straw for local people with horses, they pull people out of snow in snow drifts, they've helped with flooding.

"We don't want to lose them, we don't want to lose the farm and we don't want this negative impact on our natural environment."