Carmarthenshire Labour councillors have launched a consultation for farming and rural communities on the effectiveness of planning laws in keeping young people in the county.

Concerns have been raised that there may be barriers to the handover of farming businesses to the next generation, with a motion being tabled for Carmarthenshire Council to request that the Welsh Government review of the One Planet Development policy.

The Welsh Government has stated that it wishes to encourage younger people to manage farm businesses and permits the creation of a second dwelling on an established farm to facilitate the handover of the management of the business to a younger farmer.

Carmarthenshire Labour councillors are keen to hear from the farming community on the effectiveness of planning laws and to hear of any issues of families struggling to build a second property on their farm to hand over the farm to the next generation.

Labour leader Councillor Rob James has written to John Davies, president of NFU Cymru, and Glyn Roberts, president of the FUW, to hear the views of farmers on Welsh and local planning rules and their effects on rural communities. An online consultation form is also being launched to hear directly from local farmers.

According to figures announced by the minister for housing and local government, just 21 Open Planet Developments have been approved in Wales between 2013 and 2019, compared with 251 rural enterprise dwellings. Carmarthenshire Council has refused six of the seven applications that were refused in Wales during this period.

Cllr James said: “We are very keen to hear from farmers who have experienced difficulties building a new property to hand over the farm to their children.

“It is our belief that it is in the interest of all of us to ensure that we have sustainable rural communities and that means ensuring that the barriers to young people finding employment in our rural communities are broken down.

“We will ensure that the views of the farming community are heard by local and national governments and that planning laws support the sustainability of rural communities.”

Opposition Spokesperson for planning, Cllr Deryk Cundy added: “We are a little taken aback to hear some politicians attacking the One Planet Development policy.

“The objective that within a generation Wales should use only its fair share of the earth’s resources is in keeping with our commitment to be a net zero carbon authority.

“There may be anomalies with TAN 6 and there may be a case that we should be concentrating on rural enterprise dwellings determinants to ensure that they are fit for purpose.

“We are keen to ensure that we continue to protect our wonderful landscape, whilst supporting farmers to provide sustainable employment to young farmers in our area. We hope that the feedback from this consultation will enable us to strike the balance between the two.”