Retrospective plans for a shed at a 950-herd dairy farm on a site subject to an ongoing enforcement appeal have been given the go-ahead by Pembrokeshire national park planners.

In an application recommended for approval at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s development management committee meeting of January 31, Mr and Mrs Watkins  of Trewern Farms Ltd sought permission for an agricultural workshop and equipment store at Trewern, Velindre, north Pembrokeshire.

A report for planners said the application was “part of a wider complex of buildings which are the subject of a current planning enforcement appeal,” the 340-acre farm having expanded significantly over recent years with many of the buildings and structures erected without planning permission.

A slurry lagoon, silage clamps and 10 of the newer agricultural buildings are now lawful as certificates of lawfulness were granted for these.

“However, there are three outstanding agricultural buildings which are not lawful, and an enforcement notice was served in May 2018 requiring their removal,” members were told.

“This notice was appealed in November 2019 and is currently being held in abeyance by the Planning Inspectorate, initially for an Environmental Statement to be submitted, but latterly due to delays at Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) and with Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

The building considered by planners, described as a foot trimming area and workshop, and a feed and mineral store in a 2015 application is now described as a storage and maintenance building.

Objections were previously raised by Nevern Community Council at the retrospective nature of the scheme.

Speaking at the meeting, agent Wynne Harries of Harries Planning Design Management stressed no livestock would be kept at the building, and there have been no increase in livestock for over a decade.

The recommendation to approve was moved by Cllr Peter Morgan, seconded by Cllr Di Clements, who expressed her sadness and disappointment that proper planning process had not been followed.

Mr Harries said: “My clients are equally disappointed about the amount of time this has taken.”

He said attempts to mitigate the situation through nutrient management plans and wildlife corridors and the delays involved had been a frustrating experience.

“Our frustration has been with NRW, it’s been terribly frustrating, even with an environmental impact assessment on the table.”

He finished: “I feel Mr and Mrs Watkins have been unfairly treated by NRW.”

Members backed the officer recommendation with one abstention.