Campaigners working to save Solva's historic Trecadwgan Farm say they are now back to square one, with the farm being put back on the market despite them bidding successfully for it last month.

The group has been working tirelessly to raise capital to buy the 15th century farm, historic outbuildings and 11 acres of land. It wants to create a community farm which would develop eco agri businesses and training and could be the first of its kind in Wales.

Save Trecadwgan was the successful bidder when the farm went to auction, securing the farm with a bid of £650,000.

However, negotiations over overage with Pembrokeshire County Council have caused one of the group’s funders to back out.

Gerald Miles from the Save Trecadwgan group said that the council wanted to apply a 30 percent overage charge to the farm. This means that any work that leads to an increase in the value of the farm would result in 30 percent of that increase being paid back to the authority.

Mr Miles said that the group believed that farms producing food should be exempt from overage charges, but that the council was insistent that the overage charge should be part of the process.

The impasse over overage led to one of the funders pulling out of the scheme. However, another has since been found.

Despite this the group was told just days ago that the council was putting the farm back on the market and that all parties who were interested in it were being contacted, giving them just 66 hours to save the project.

Offers in sealed envelopes are being taken for the farm until noon this Friday.

“I feel it’s not proper procedure to deal with the sale of a county farm in this way. We had bought it to create a community farm for the benefit of the community which will take a lot of hard work and investment over the years.

“This is in line with the Future Generations Act. What’s the point in having these acts if you don’t have the democracy to carry them through? We are now having to go back to the start.”

Mr Miles said that he was against the sale of county farms.

“They are not assets just to be got rid of,” he said. “They should be kept to give young people a chance to farm. It’s their first step on the ladder to farm."

All interested parties have until noon tomorrow, Friday 13, to submit their offers.

The Save Trecadwgan group firmly believes that they have a model which can retain the space as a vital site for education in food production, which if successful could be replicated by other groups elsewhere. It has asked the council for more time so they can reassemble their bid.

“We have an exciting proposal for the site which pays a fair price and allows it to continue in its original role, rather than go to someone wanting to make a quick buck as a developer,” said Mr Miles, whose own farm is an internationally recognised project for education in sustainable community agriculture.

“There has never been a more urgent time for new farmers to have somewhere to learn. For the councils own credibility, we're asking them to take the property back off the market, and get back round the table with us.”

The Western Telegraph has contacted Pembrokeshire County Council for a comment.