‘Bring your horse on holiday’ glamping pods expected to be turned down by Ceredigion Council

PLANS for ‘bring your horse on holiday’ glamping pods at a Ceredigion hill farm are expected to be turned down next week.

Ceredigion County Council’s Development Management committee, meeting on May 10, is recommended to refuse an application by Mr O Jones, of 550-acre hill farm Penlanwen, near Llanddewi Brefi, to site five glamping pods on grazing land half a kilometre from the farm.

Penlanwen, roughly a mile from Llandewi Brefi, currently has a flock of 800 Welsh mountain ewes, and the farm wishes to diversify, a report for planners states.

The proposed year-round glamping pods plan to tap into equestrian holiday accommodation, and would be designed, furnished, and equipped to meet the Visit Wales Gold Standard for Glamping Quality, and to qualify for The British Horse Society’s Horses Welcome Scheme, the UK’s first quality-assured scheme for equestrian holiday accommodation.

Agent Living Design Consultancy states: “The applicant’s research suggests that the proposed facility will be the only site in Ceredigion and third in Wales offering visitors the unique opportunity to bring their horse on holiday.

“Listing searches demonstrate that despite the recent increase in applications for ‘glamping’ accommodation, provision remains sparse in the Cambrian Mountains area and the development’s unique combination of facilities, accommodation style and quality, and location is not considered to be in direct competition with existing established glamping sites.”

The Applicant’s outline business plan includes a viability assessment based on an initial outlay of £125,000 and calculated monthly outgoings of £2,137.

Turnover is projected to increase from £60,000 to £150,000 over the first three years with a target of 50 per cent occupancy in year 3; this equates to a projected net return of £34,500 in year 1 rising to £125,000 in year 3, the agent states.

Three letters of support, and one letter of objection, on the siting of the proposal some distance away from the main farm holding, were received.

A report for planners states the principle of development is supported, but the application runs contrary to several planning policies.

“Currently, the pods are not sited adjacent to the farmstead of Penlanwen, as such the proposal falls short of policy. Additionally, the application site is located in an open visually prominent location with wide reaching views over the Teifi Valley and beyond.

“The pods will be sited close to the ridgeline on a northwestern facing slope facing the valley and will be visible from the highway and further afield. The setting of the pods could be visually obtrusive and will present an uncharacteristic element in an otherwise undeveloped open countryside location.”

Cllr Rhodri Evans, the local ward member, had requested the application be referred to the committee for consideration; the relevant reasons for referral are expected to be reported orally at that meeting.

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