A family who breed award-winning Welsh cobs have won permission to build four homes on their farm - against all the odds.

Ceredigion planning officers recommended refusal of the scheme for two affordable homes and two speculative houses on land opposite Penparc, Horeb.

They said the scheme flew in face of planning policies while highways officers said it was "impossible" to create a safe access.

But councillors at this week's development control committee gave the go-ahead after hearing an impassioned plea from the Rees family.

The houses would be used to allow the three grown up Rees children, who have lived in the area all their lives, the chance to help with the family farm and develop their own businesses.

Mum Catherine Rees - who told planners she couldn't speak Welsh because her family had been forced to leave Cardigan to find work - said: "Ceredigion has invested in these children and should reap the reward from this investment by letting them live on their home soil."

Local councillor Peter Davies said it was important to support the family.

"They are the fifth generation to live on the farm. We have to give every support to people who want to start businesses. We need to keep these people in the area."

But planning officer Richard Duggan said councillors should put aside personal matters and focus on planning issues.

"You just don't deserve a house because you speak Welsh and live in the area. To do so would bring the entire planning system into question. You have to make sound planning decisions not based on personal circumstances of a family that are well known in the area," he said.

But Cllr Peter Evans said: "We are constantly talking about badgers and bats but when it comes to the Welsh language it means nothing to us."

And Cllr Peter Davies said: "What's more important for us? The health and future of people in the county? I know officers have to follow guidelines. These people have done everything they can to contribute to the local community. I look forward to a sixth generation at Blaenffynnon farm."