A Pembrokeshire dairy farmer at the centre of a planning row over a controversial cattle shed has spoken of the threats he has received from so-called anti-farming fanatics.
Daniel Harries has now secured retrospective planning permission for his 2,552sq m building at Velindre Farm in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park after waiting for months to hear if he might be forced to tear it down.
Mr Harries had pressed ahead with erecting the shed last winter because hearings to consider his planning application had been repeatedly deferred and he was faced with the prospect of no winter housing for replacement heifers.
The National Park Authority’s development management committee has now agreed to approve the building.
Mr Harries insisted his actions in erecting the building were not the result of arrogance but of desperation.
He said “ludicrous claims’’ had been made against the system at Velindre Farm.
He plans to expand his herd to 800 cows but rumours had been circulating that this was closer to 1,500.
“We are and always have been a family-run business seeking to grow our herd to 800 cows,’’ he said.
“It has become very apparent that a small group of anti-farming fanatics are harassing and using bullying tactics to try and stop agriculture.
“The bullish behaviour has forced the police to become involved due to the threats that have been made towards me and my family.’’
One of the councillors who supported his application, Reg Owens, said scale was needed in modern dairy farming.
“If you like your cornflakes in the morning you need milk on them. You cannot run a dairy farm these days with half-a-dozen cows.
“Farming is a very important part of industry in Pembrokeshire,’’ he said.