Planning permission for a controversial new business park to be built on farmland in the Vale of Glamorgan has been quashed. 

In July, as reported previously in The National, the council had granted financial giant Legal & General permission to build an industrial park on land at Model Farm near Cardiff Airport in Rhoose.

But it has now emerged that information regarding the viability of the site had not been disclosed at the time.

The Vale of Glamorgan has accepted there were procedural irregularities and has quashed the application. 

The decision is subject to a judicial review. The court is likely to refer the application back to the council. 

READ MORE: Protest outside Senedd to save Model Farm from demolition

Model Farm has been farmed by the same tenant farming family since 1935. Gethin and Mair Jenkins’ family is the third generation to have lived and worked on the farm. They had been hoping to pass the farm on to Rhys and Kelly, their son and daughter-in-law. 

The National Wales: The Jenkins FamilyThe Jenkins Family

The judicial review was launched by local resident, Maxine Levett, who had issued proceedings on Friday September 10th. Her legal team challenged the granting of planning permission on four grounds:

1. That the council had failed to make available to the public the viability evidence and draft planning obligation. 

2. That the council had failed to apply the considerable weight to harm to listed buildings, the conservation area and the advice of its own conservation officer. 

3. That the council had misdirected members that the loss of a working farm was not a material consideration.

4. That the council had failed to inform the public promptly of the granting of permission under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2017. 

The National Wales: Maxine Levett. Photo - Siriol GriffithsMaxine Levett. Photo - Siriol Griffiths

Ms Levett told The National: "Myself and the Vale Communities Unite team are extremely pleased with this outcome. However, we are aware that this is just one hurdle that has been overcome.

"Whilst Legal and General own the land, we cannot be complacent that they will not try to profit from this despite their green policies.

"However, given that we now have a code red for humanity, an environmental crisis, and a nature crisis declared - just after planning - in the Vale of Glamorgan, will Legal and General reconsider this destruction and forcing a farmer off his land?

"This is yet to be considered and negotiated.

READ MORE: More than 200 health journals call for urgent climate action

"Will the Welsh Government now consider calling this development in? Will the reconsideration of the Local Development Plan provide a reconsideration of this proposed development to brown field sites in light of the environment crisis?

"There are plenty of appropriate places where a business park could be built without destroying a working farm, a farm that reduces food miles, is sustainable, and is progressive with wildflowers increasing biodiversity.

"We hope for a resolution that will be positive for all parties. We are disappointed in our unelected officers and our elected members on the planning committee who voted for this development."

READ MORESenedd declares nature emergency in Wales over biodiversity loss

The Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies, who is also the councillor for Rhoose, said he was "extremely pleased" with the decision: "The decision to grant permission was a betrayal of Rhoose and the surrounding villages, so I'm naturally pleased with this decision. 

"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".

The National Wales: Freya and Ffion Jenkins protest against their family's evictionFreya and Ffion Jenkins protest against their family's eviction

The Senedd Member for South Wales Central, Rhys ab Owen, said: “This is a victory for the campaigners and the local community that don’t want to see Model Farm concreted over and turned into a business park.

"I addressed a well attended rally in support of the family on the steps of the Senedd, so I’m glad the pressure has caused this rethink.

"I have written to Legal and General’s Chief Executive Nigel Wilson to ask the firm to consider one of the many nearby brown field sites rather than build on the green fields of Model Farm and move a family that have farmed on the land for several generations.

"My team will continue to work with the community to protect this important natural green asset in the Vale of Glamorgan."

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.