A RURAL Herefordshire farm has been told it can expand its camp site despite concerns being raised by locals.

Cayo Farm, near Longtown in the Golden Valley, asked Herefordshire Council if it could turn two fields into a campsite for wild camping during summer months.

Currently used for agricultural purposes, the farm wanted to change the use to leisure/tourism as part of a diversification scheme.


But among the 11 objections from members of the public for the scheme, which would see 60 different pitches created, locals hit out at the site not actually being for wild camping.

Plans showed that there would be 40 camping and 20 caravan pitches, but conditions imposed by Herefordshire Council will limit this to 24 tent pitches and 12 caravan pitches at any one time.

There were also concerns raised surrounding how local, single-track lanes could cope with extra traffic from the 60 pitches, with the scale of the campsite said to be too large and would have a disruptive impact on the community.

Hereford Times:

Locals also said that while Longtown has a shop, it had no public toilets or waste bins, and generally insufficient facilities. Consultants working on the scheme for John Price, of Cayo Farm, said there would be portaloos for campers and no permanent buildings.

Polly Hearsey, of Roman Way in Longtown, even said campers who had already used the site had been seen washing themselves and dishes in the brook and said "some had soiled it due to the lack of toilet facilities at the site".


Longtown Group Parish Council also said some campers had been "observed doing their ablutions in the Olchon Brook", as it also objected to the scheme due to other environmental concerns including litter.

Nicola Short, of Longtown, said campers "had been seen washing their pots in the river, washing their clothes and using it as a toilet".

Planning officer Elsie Morgan, recommending approval, said the scheme would provide medium-scale and low-impact accommodation for tourists which would increase visitor numbers and promote the area as a destination.

"This provides benefits to the local economy through increased visitor expenditure in local businesses, which in turn supports the vitality of the rural community," she said, adding existing hedges would help screen the site.

The benefits for tourism and the rural economy outweighed concerns, she said.