A YOUNG family who run a campsite and petting farm on Anglesey claim they are being driven out of Wales by a lack of action on planning law.

Luke and Samantha Haworth run the farm with their four boys, but are selling up and moving to England because they can no longer afford to make ends meet.

The family have put their house on the market, saying it is because Welsh Government have not brought the law governing the running of campsites – Permitted Development Rights (PDR) – in line with that of England.


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In England, farmers and landowners can run a campsite for up to 60 days per year without needing extra planning permission, but in Wales, the level is just 28 days.

A petition calling on Welsh Government to bring the law into line with England is currently being considered by the Petitions Committee.

The Haworth family has been fighting for full planning permission to run their business since moving to the island in February 2021, but say they have also faced a series of setbacks at the hands of Isle of Anglesey County Council.

Among the objections are that the campsite is an eyesore and that it will generate too much traffic – claims the couple deny.

Luke said: “When we moved to the property in February 2021, PDR had been extended to 56 days from 28, to help the rural economy recover from COVID-19.

“We were able to make a living at that, but now it has reverted back to 28 days, and we simply can’t make ends meet.

“It was always our intention to get full planning permission so we could build a business for our own future and for our boys, so we applied for that as soon as we moved here.

“It took 12 months for the council to validate the planning application, but just 19 weeks to refuse it.

“They claimed we were polluting a lake which sits 45 metres above us – apparently water flows uphill on Anglesey – and that it would be too noisy.

“We have one direct neighbour who loves the campsite and spends a lot of time with us; the rest are distant farms. We don’t create any noise disturbance.”

Luke added that there hasn’t been an accident near his property in all the time they’ve lived there.

He gave up running a construction company to live his dream with his family, but said: “28 days has crushed us. We cannot make enough revenue to keep the place going.

“I wanted to create a rare breeds farm but I’ve had to rehome all the livestock because I can’t afford their upkeep.

“The children were born here and speak fluent Welsh. Moving to England is going to put them behind in their education and development.

“They’re very upset about the move and keep asking why someone is doing this to them. Me and Samantha are devastated.

“The campsite created five jobs. You would think the council and Welsh Government would want people to create jobs in the countryside, but instead they’re driving us out of the country.”

The number of days permitted for temporary uses was temporally extended to 56 days during the period beginning April 30, 2021 and ending on January 3, 2022 to support economic recovery in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

A planning application looks at considerations, including undertaking any relevant statutory consultation and a public notification process.

This is to ensure people who have an interest in the outcome of an application, particularly neighbours in close proximity to proposed development, can make their views known.

In response, a Welsh Government spokesperson said: “There is a fine balance between providing greater flexibility to landowners and protecting the amenity of local residents and the wider environment.

“A planning application enables the planning authority to fully consider whether the proposed use complies with planning policy and that any relevant material considerations are taken into account.

“The requirement for planning permission does not represent a barrier to the use of land for temporary alternative purposes, such as pop-up camping, where the planning impacts are acceptable.”

An Isle of Anglesey County Council spokesperson added: “The actions of our planning officers have been professional throughout.

“Repeated offers were made to Mr and Mrs Haworth to meet with them in a meaningful effort to resolve matters without recourse to formal enforcement proceedings.

“Every effort was made to assist and facilitate them throughout the application process, and this is clearly evidenced within the information contained on planning file. 

“It is regrettable that the owners chose to disregard these offers, as well as the advice provided during the local planning authority’s investigation of matters.”