A scheme to modernise a 1,100-herd dairy farm near Haverfordwest airport has been backed by planners, with the applicants praised for their multi-million-pound investment.

In an application before Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee meeting of February 13, Mr and Mrs Rees sought permission for a replacement rotary milking parlour and cubicle cattle housing at Poyston West Farm, Rudbaxton.

The application, just under 700m from the end of the airport runway, was recommended for conditional approval, with no objections received.

A report for planners stated: “The application will provide for the modernisation of the existing farming operation based on a herd of 1,130 dairy cattle farmed over 300 acres of land both owned and tenanted by the applicants.

“The proposed development comprises of three linked cattle housing sheds with yard areas and a rotary milking parlour to the west, totalling 7,708 sq m of new floorspace. The buildings will stand approximately 10 metres in height to ridge and five metres to eaves.”

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Agent Wynne Harries told planners the scheme would allow a reduction in the carbon use “embedded” in food production through the use of solar panels on the new build.

Councillor Brian Hall, who moved approval, said: “There’s 10 conditions there, I’m sure they will be met. This is a big shed, and in all fairness, they need a big shed to do the job.”

He was seconded by Cllr Mark Carter, who said: “It’s great to see families investing like this, it’s an ideal location.”

Councillor John Davies described the scheme as “a huge investment” that “ticks a huge amount of boxes as far as efficiency, socio-economics and animal welfare, building around an existing business”.

“We need to be honest with ourselves, if we wish to see local food locally produced; these kind of developments need to be allowed to happen to sustain these investments and local jobs,” he told members.

“Somebody is willing to stick their heads above the parapet in uncertain times to make millions of pounds of investment; we should be grateful as Pembrokeshire politicians.”

The application was unanimously approved.