One of Llandovery’s major employers has been forced to abandon his plans for business expansion in the town after negotiations with Carmarthenshire County Council reached stalemate.

Jonathan Davies, managing director of JR Pet Products, has now moved his rapidly-expanding operation to a purposely-renovated building in Brecon with the result that his 50-strong workforce have to travel a daily 40-mile round trip to and from work.

“It’s a huge disappointment to us all,” he told The Guardian. “Llandovery was where the business began and Llandovery is where I wanted to see it grow.

"When we outgrew our previous premises, we began consultations with Carmarthenshire County Council on the best way to move forward.”


Several plots of land were identified by the local authority and discussions got underway on how each parcel could be developed to accommodate JR Pet Products.

Mr Davies's preferred option was to proceed with plans for a 40,000 sq ft unit on land adjacent to the Church Bank Industrial estate.

“I’m not saying the council didn’t help me as we had some very positive meetings, but when it came to planning guidance there was never any certainty and no one was able to suggest whether or not planning consent would be given," he said.

“In the end we just ran out of time and we had no alternative but to move.”

JR Pet Products was established ten years ago by Jonathan and his wife Rebecca in the spare bedroom of their house in Llangadog.

Initially they started importing wild bird seed which they sold on to garden centres, but they quickly realised that this wasn’t going to be sufficiently sustainable.

They then began searching all over the world for premium quality pet products and now, following years of steady expansion, they supply over 6,000 pet shops throughout the UK and Ireland.

Mr Davies is confident that over the next three years his business turnover will increase from £16m to £35m, while his workforce will double in number from 50 to 100.

“From the outset I wanted to give as much back to the company and to the community of Llandovery as I could. Anything we can support, we do.

"I was absolutely gutted when I was having to confront road block after road block concerning the planning issue.”

Meanwhile Mr Davies has re-located to Brecon after investing in two electric minibuses and three electric cars to help ferry the staff back and fore.

“Expecting them to travel a 40-mile round trip is a big ask,” he said, “so this is the least I can do.

“Yes, it’s been a disappointment but at the end of the day, Llandovery will always be my home and if I ever get the chance to bring the business back, I will.”

Carmarthenshire’s cabinet member for rural affairs and planning, Cllr Ann Davies, said the council remains ‘open to working with the company for further investment in the county.’

“As far as we aware, no planning application was submitted to the council for JR Pet Products,” she said.

“Discussions have been ongoing with the company over possible sites in Llandovery, and it’s disappointing they have taken a commercial decision not to pursue these options.”

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