Pig farmer Mike Psaila’s “mobile home” on his 22 acre Leckwith farm has been extended and “cladded” – but now the Vale Council is being recommended to take enforcement action to get it removed

The Vale of Glamorgan planning committee decided last night to issue an enforcement notice to force off his land a local pig-farmer who has been battling to be allowed to carry on living in a caravan on his own farm.

The pig farmer, Mr Mike Psaila, lives on Upper Langcross Farm, Leckwith – on land which he acquired in 1987. He began living in a mobile home on the site in 2008 and has progressively acquired a total of  22 hectares of adjacent land.

Mr Psaila’s caravan (red outline) can’t be seen from the road but a public footpath runs past it

In 2010 Mr Psaila made a planning application to retain his use of his caravan on his farm as his home.  This was refused by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Undaunted, in 2011 Mr Psaila appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against the council’s decision – and won a temporary reprieve and was allowed to continue living in his caravan on his farm for a further 3 years and one month . (i.e. in 2014 – after which  he would have to remove the caravan – and “associated paraphernlia”).

However Mr Psaila then lodged more planning applications:

  • 2012: He sought and obtaining planning permission to install a wood burner
  • 2012: He sought and obtained planning permission to add an extra bedroom to his mobile home.
  • 2016: He applied for permission to build a permanent home on the site (i.e. a house) on the grounds that he was an agricultural worker who needed to live on his farm. This application was refused by the council on April 11th 2017 .

Mr Psaila did not appeal against this latest planning refused and – as the original 3-year reprive granted by the Planning Inspectorate has expired ( in fact it expired in 2014)   Vale of Glamorgan Council planners are now recommending that the council’s planning committee should authorise the issue of an enforcement notice requiring Mr Psaila to remove his caravan from the land and live somewhere else.

Back in 2011 the Planning Inspectorate – granting the 3-year reprieve – had said “there was no doubt that the mobile home adds to the unsightly and harmful clutter of buildings, structures and paraphilia” . It said that whilst the site was  not “highly visible from the adopted highway”  it could be “clearly viewed at close range from footpath No.8 that runs alongside” and “represents an unjustified encroachment of a residential use into a rural setting.”

The original caravan has been “clad” and the council  report says it has “an unsightly
appearance” that would be contrary to planning principles and would set a precedent for other development.

The council report says that “the land is not within easy access to day-to-day
services associated with a residential use, unless by private vehicle” and the site is “an unsustainable location that promotes the use of the private motor vehicle over more sustainable modes of transport”.

The Vale Council however admits that there is no objection to Mr Psaila’s caravan from  any adjoining occupiers.

As far as Mr Psaila’s “Human Rights” are concerned, the council asserts that his human rights are “qualified by necessary interference by a public authority to protect certain interests including economic well -being, which it has been established includes protection of the environment. Accordingly, in recommending the pursuit of enforcement action in this case, full consideration has been given to the implications for the Human Rights, but this has been balanced against the legitimate reasons for this Authority to interfere in those human rights.”

The council report says that “In considering the issue of Human Rights, which are not unqualified or absolute rights, it is maintained that a balanced and proportionate judgement has been reached in recommending enforcement action in this case. It is considered that the fundamental harm identified earlier in this report is unlikely to be outweighed by any other considerations.”


Cllr Jonathan Bird (Conservative) seconded a motion to follow the planning officers’ recommendation to issue the Enforcement Notice which was moved by Cllr Bob Penrose (Independent Sully) . Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour Stanwell) (right) abstained, as did Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour St Augustines not in the picture)

Last night (6 July  2017) the planning committee voted to authorise the issue of an enforcement notice which will compell Mr Psaila to relocate his home away from his farm.

Two members of the planning committee Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour Stanwell) and Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour St Augustines) abstained.

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  1. Ron Foxton says:

    Let him have his caravan to continue living with his pigs, if he so wishes, in privacy on his own land. He’s out of sight and harming nobody except the odd woolly-hatted ordnance survey enthusiast.

  2. Dizzydeb says:

    At least he’s earning a living or trying to, leave him alone. As long as he treats his animals well! Worry about the dreadful, unsightly boxes the new developers are building everywhere instead!

  3. lizp says:

    Our wonderful council weren’t particularly bothered about the environment when they wanted to go ahead with their wakeboard scheme at Cosmeston. Hypocritical as ever.

  4. Sick of the same old politicians says:

    Thin end of the wedge if this were to be allowed. What’s to stop the Traveller Community doing the same thing? You’ll all be up in arms then won’t you.

    • snoggerdog says:

      us brits up in arms, is there an app for that. we leave the armaments to our guests.

  5. J24 says:

    Naysayers here don’t understand the deeper ramifications of allowing him to continue. It would open a can of worms, whereby anyone with a bit of land could create a ramshackle dwelling. The Vale would end up looking like a Gypsy camp.

  6. Lucie says:

    Leave the man alone in in cavan,he is happy,paying taxes he can do as he wishes.

  7. Frank Evans says:

    I’m glad we still have pig farmers in this country.

  8. Ian Symonds says:

    He’s a hard worker and a good neighbour and I can’t think of anyone who farms their smallholding in a more sustainable way.

    • Robert Jones says:

      Maybe a hard worker, good neighbour and farms his smallholding in a more sustainable way but that does not justify him breaching the planning laws.

  9. Amy louise says:

    From someone’s point of view who knows the farmer in question , I think everyone needs to get there facts right instead of jumping on either bandwagon , the farmer in question farms over 200 acres of land running he’s business paying he’s taxes , it is not a complete project neither a shack or eye sore , having applied for planning permission on all intended work the farmer in question has had nothing but hostility from the local council and other authorities

  10. Tim Russell says:

    why does nt he build a double garage then apply to change it into a 1 bed apartment ..the council like that!….or a simple 2 story “coach house” cumulative “workshop..might be approved?

Comments are closed.