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Vale Communities Unite protest Model Farm development plans

A PROTEST is planned after proposals to build over a farm were approved – despite thousands of objections.

Vale Communities Unite – an action group for Vale of Glamorgan residents to discuss issues, share ideas, and make plans – is protesting plans to turn Model Farm, in Rhoose, into a 45-hectare business park.

The land has been farmed by the Jenkins family ever ever since Griffith Jenkins first worked there in 1935.

His grandson Gethin Jenkins, 64, is now the tenant farmer – with the site currently used to rear beef cattle and grow wildflowers for seeds – and had hoped to pass it on to his 32-year-old son Rhys.

But Legal and General, who own the land, now have planning permission to turn Model Farm into a 45-hectare business park – they say this would create 2,000 jobs and agreed that they would transfer 103 acres of land to the council to extend Porthkerry Country Park.

Despite thousands of objections – including concerns about climate change – Vale of Glamorgan Council granted the financial services giant permission on July 14. You can read more on that here. 

Vale Communities Unite has not given up and continues to protest the development and believes the plans – which would also increase traffic in the area – contradicts the council’s recently declaring a nature emergency.

They are inviting members of the community to join them in a protest on Saturday, August 21. They are also trying to raise money for a judicial review to challenge the decision. 

They also have a Facebook group – with more than 1,000 members – about the plans, where people can discuss and share ideas.

Member Claire Croft is dealing with communication, Gale Adams is dealing with technical details – including an in-depth analysis of the redevelopment report which we will keep readers updated on – and Maxine Levett is focused on the environmental impact the group believes this development would have.

Ms Levett has visited the farm regularly recording the species on-site including mammals, invertebrates and birds (including buzzards, crows, woodpeckers and more).

She said: “This development would have a huge impact on wellbeing – both now and for future generations – as Model Farm is rich in biodiversity.

“It’s not affected me directly, but it will impact the environment and mean kicking a family off the land – brownfield sites near the farm should be used instead.

“It was said land would be gifted to Porthkerry Country Park – but I’ve been to Model Farm day at night and the biodiversity can’t all be squished into one area; animals use the whole land for foraging.”

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: “The council has approved a planning application from Legal and General for a business park at the Model Farm site, subject to a Section 106 agreement being signed.

“This land had been identified for this purpose in the council’s Local Development Plan.

“The views of all interested parties were taken into account by planning committee as part of the decision-making process. All letters of representation were fully considered and due regard was paid to factors relating to transport and the environment.

“A full explanation of how the decision was reached can be found in a report on the council’s website.”

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