A planning application for additional uses to a Bidnija sheep farm has been revised to propose dedicating more space to the animals. The new application no longer requests to convert some of the space to a farmer’s quarters and two guest rooms that were intended for agritourism.
The revised application was filed by farmer Jason Vella, who comes from a farming family and is well-known in the industry for producing cheeselets. “We tried to do everything by the book and it backfired because people misinterpreted our intentions. This project was always intended as a sheep farm that creates fresh local produce” he said.
“We simply wanted to provide visitor access so guests could watch the process. In line with practices around the world, we proposed to add two guest rooms, in which case it would make sense to have the farmer sleep there too.”
“However, given the reaction from the public, we decided to scrap those plans and simply request visitor access. The rest of the space will be used to house more sheep,” Vella said, adding that there was never any intention to build more of the site or to extend any of the property.
There was never any attempt to change the use from farming to anything else. The goal was simply to add ancillary uses over and above the farming, to provide a more holistic experience to potential visitors. The farm, which was built in 2019 after obtaining planning permission, is already operational and hosts a number of sheep.
This new planning application will allow the number of sheep hosted at the property to be tripled. Built to be 100% eco-friendly and self-sustainable, the farm gets its water needs from rainwater harvesting and its energy needs from solar panels, while using manure to fertilise the nearby fields.