Wales

Game of Thrones star: 'Locals gazumped by council over farm'

Jerome Flynn Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Actor Jerome Flynn appeared as soldier Bronn in Game of Thrones

Actor Jerome Flynn says people in a village have been "gazumped" by a council over farmland.

Locals near Solva want to buy Trecadwgan Farm from Pembrokeshire council for community farming.

However, after initially agreeing a price, the local authority said a higher bid for the land was made.

Game of Thrones star Flynn, who lives nearby, said locals' plans could create a template for the whole of the UK to follow.

"It's important for all our local communities that we start to bring food production back to the community," he told Claire Summers on BBC Radio Wales.

"It is clear from the situation we have created for ourselves on the planet, we are facing a crisis.

"One large part is where is our food coming from?"

The land at Trecadwgan has been farmed since the 11th century and was bought by Pembrokeshire council after World War One.

Since then it has offered tenancies to young farmers, with some families working there for generations.

Image caption Flynn takes an active part in the community and joined pupils and staff at Ysgol Dewi Sant in 2014 for a mindfulness session

However, last July, the local authority decided to sell the land by public auction, which was when locals came in with a bid.

They want to turn it into a community hub for ecological farming, crafts and healthy living.

"It could set a precedent for holistic models for the whole country," Flynn added.

"Most farms around here have become holiday homes.

"We have to find our food locally - everything comes to our plates very easily. That can change."

Image copyright NBBC
Image caption Flynn said the proposals would help local people stay connected to their food in the way their ancestors were

Locals said they raised £50,000 to have Trecadwgan Farm removed from public auction.

However, after their backer pulled out, they found another, with the council formally accepting their bid in December.

Despite this, they said officials contacted them on 7 January saying a higher offer had been made and asked if they would like to make a counter offer.

Flynn added: "The council is gazumping its own people."

Image copyright BBC / Tiger Aspect
Image caption Jerome Flynn also starred in BBC Victorian crime drama Ripper Street

'Serious concerns'

Community group Cymdeithas Trecadwgan called for the local authority to halt the process so a workable solution can be found.

"Alongside our backer we have participated in the bidding process in good faith and submitted a strong bid, which was previously accepted," said secretary Gareth Chapman.

"But we both have serious concerns over our continued participation in a flawed process which, could prevent perfectly proceedable, accepted bids made by ourselves or any other bidder, reaching completion."

A council spokesman said: "We are following due process."

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