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Vale Council consents to the quashing of Model Farm development planning permission

  Gethin Jenkins hopes to pass Model Farm on to his son Rhys, but Legal & General wants to develop a business park on the land. IMAGE by GLYN EVANS

Vale of Glamorgan Council has quashed planning permission for a business park at Model Farm, after it accepted Viability Information was not included within the Officers’ Report as it should have been.

The decision, taken two months ago, is now the subject of a judicial review.

It will be considered by a court and could go back to the planning committee for another decision.

Model Farm, east of Cardiff Airport and north of Porthkerry Country Park, has been farmed by the Jenkins family for four generations.

Legal and General want to build a business park on the farm, to serve the aerospace industry. The financial services company was granted planning permission in July, but the controversial decision was criticised for its impact on the local environment and biodiversity.

The Jenkins family said they were devastated by the decision in July and had been asked to leave the farm by July next year. But the latest turn of events throws the future of Model Farm into question.

The news that permission was to be quashed was confirmed in an email sent to councillors on Monday afternoon, by chair of the Planning Committee Cllr Jonathan Bird.

In the email, which has been seen by Bro Radio, Cllr Bird said: ''I have been just been notified that further to the Planning Committee’s decision to approve the planning application for Model Farm (2019/00871/OUT) at the meeting on 14th July 2021, and the subsequent granting of permission on 30th July 2021, the Council has been subject to a Judicial Review in respect of that decision.''

''Having taken external legal advice the Council has consented to the quashing of the Planning Permission due to not having adequately dealt with the assessment of the need to disclose Viability Information within the Officers Report.''

"In the absence of the Applicant for Planning Permission choosing to contest the Judicial Review it is expected that the Court will approve the quashing of the grant of planning permission and the matter will be returned to the Council for redetermination. Thereafter, the application will be reported back to Planning Committee for consideration of any new material considerations and determination."

The court are now likely to order the application be referred back to the council to determine once again.  

Rhoose Councillor Andrew RT Davies welcomed the news, but warned the error would seriously undermine residents' confidence in the process, urging the Committee to reject the application when it comes back before them.

Mr Davies said: ''The decision to grant permission at Model Farm was a betrayal of Rhoose and surrounding villages, so I am extremely pleased it has been quashed.''

''But there are serious questions for the council to answer. Residents’ confidence in the process was already low and these significant errors will make it even more fragile.''

''This decision proves the councillors who voted to turn down planning permission were absolutely right to do so. The council must reject the application when it comes back before the committee.''

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesperson said: “The Council has received a letter setting out the grounds for a Judicial Review application in relation to the planning approval granted for this development.

“Having considered the contents of that letter with its legal team, the Council has agreed to consent to the application to quash its original decision.

“If the Court approves the order quashing the original decision, the planning application will be returned to the Council to redetermine following full consideration of all relevant matters.”

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2 comments on “Vale Council consents to the quashing of Model Farm development planning permission”

  1. I think this decision reflects a lack of the professionals’ ability at the Council. Surely the Legal Officers involved along with Planning Officers need to carefully review their positions. This is not a political disaster but appears to be one of incompetent advice.

  2. Why do Council's have the power to take ownership of homes, Buildings & lands, without permission of the citizens via councillors.

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