Model Farm Fight | Vale | Sue’s View

Well, fancy kicking a fourth generation farming family off their lands and livelihood just to build a big business park – no wonder legions of our locals are livid.

And it certainly looks like those campaigners, who have featured on the national news, made most of the mainstream media, and showed up at the Senedd won’t be giving up the fight any time soon.

I’m with them all the way.

I feel for the Jenkins family who are certainly set to lose their home after making a living mixed farming on the land since 1935.

I’ve also heard a rumour that there are brownfield sites within a three mile radius that could be just as easily developed – and I haven’t even mentioned the now sad St Athan site sitting empty up the road.

Now, some may tell me it’s not as simple and that I’ve got it all wrong. I certainly known one thing I’ve got really right, the Vale Council pushing this Plan through was always precarious thanks to the strength of feeling against the marketing move right from the get go.

Yeah, yeah I know the Planning Committee duly passed the business park blueprint back in July but against a 1,000 objecting signatures, a chorus of environmental disapproval, and a majority of just one. Nine votes to eight was the final scores on the doors which is hardly a landslide victory.

And now we also have thousands signature strong petition to save the site’s environment, a Go Fund Me Page looking for legal fees to battle the business park decision, and a Facebook Group gathering momentum by the minute.

I get that Legal and General, who own the land, want to create a 45 hectare business park with offices and other stuff that will support Wales’ only airport up the road.

Fair enough, who doesn’t want a booming Barry and beyond economy full of high-tech manufacturing and aerospace businesses, creating jobs, and paying wages to would-be employees.

I do.

But not at the expense of seeing farmers lose the livelihoods, the natural countryside destroyed for our future generations, and residents raging at the alleged lack of even looking at other options.

For me, the defining double whammy of BREXIT and COVID-19 sprinkled with the creeping climate emergency is a game-changer to the way we live and work in this new normal.

Things ain’t how they used to be and our Councils crucially need to adapt to the very different world we now operate in.

It’s time to thrive not just survive.

The Jenkins family have definitely diversified adding wildflower seeds to sell throughout Wales, in addition to their stock trade of rearing beef cattle and growing cereals.

Our under-pressure farmer is also adamant that post Brexit, it should be of paramount importance to secure a sustainable supply of home-grown food to reduce the carbon footprint and food miles of our goods. Seems sensible to me.

Let’s be honest about the aftermath of this paralysing pandemic too.

In my view, we need to take the lessons learned and develop more open spaces and leisurely living ideas.

Bring all the bankrupt business buildings, empty shops, and stagnant sites back into use, and regenerate and redevelop where we can mindful of the very different climate change considerations that must be made.

Personally, I think, we should ban the new business builds until we have explored exhaustively the potential of rejuvenating all those existing said shops or sites.

In fact I’m all for ripping up the now out-dated Vale Development Plan and starting from scratch.

You in?


The Voice Of Our Community

UPDATE: Replacement Local Development Plan 2021 – 2036. The Council is preparing a new Local Development Plan (LDP) to replace the existing adopted LDP. It will be called the Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) and involves a Community Involvement Scheme.

It is anticipated that consultation will be in Autumn 2021 to obtain the views of stakeholders. The Council say that all comments received will be duly considered and amendments made to the documents if required.

If you wish to be kept informed of progress on the RLDP, please register your interest here.


Sue Vincent-Jones, blogging as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She writes about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.

Sue’s Views, the reboot of her much-loved infamous B&D opinion column from back in the day, is where Sue gives her take on the hot topics we are all talking about in our beautiful Barry, and beyond – the good, the bad…and the ugly.

Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.