COUNCILLORS have voted against officers and allowed a young farming family to build a new home on land near Sarnau.

Ceredigion County Council’s development control committee approved a plan for a rural enterprise dwelling on land next to Pwllglas.

Alec Cowen’s family - including his four-month-old son - will take over the sheep and suckler cow element of the Blaencwmpridd farm site, around four and half miles away.

Diversification into a dairy farming is underway here with the development of robotic milking.

The farm, run by Mr Cowan, his brother and their father, has 145 dairy cows, 40 suckler cows, down from 130 and 250 breeding sheep, down from 650.

An officer report says that this “outlines that the change in farming practice has been embarked upon to ensure the business is well prepared for future challenges.”

Mr Cowan told the meeting on Wednesday, January 9 he was confident they met with planning requirements.

“I ask for your full support in overturning the recommendation for refusal and provide our family and business the opportunity to develop the business further,” he added.

County council planning officers said that under “stringent” TAN6 regulations governing rural enterprise suitability it was considered that the applicant should be living at the main farm holding.

Local member Cllr Gwyn James spoke in support of the application as did other councillors at the meeting.

Cllr Gareth Lloyd proposed that approval be given, seconded by Cllr Odwyn Davies.

Cllr Peter Davies added although the application was “not perfect” nor met all the Wales-wide policy guidelines, it was important for the future of farming in the county and its economy.

The committee voted unanimously to approve the application.