Posted: Sat 16th Mar 2024

Planning Application for Rural Enterprise Dwelling Approved Despite Professional Advice

news.wales / newyddion.cymru

A PLANNING application for a rural enterprise dwelling in Carno has been approved after councillors disregarded professional planning officers advice to refuse it.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Planning committee on Thursday, March 14, councillors debated plans by Ceri Jerman-Jones and Edward Jones for a four bedroom rural enterprise dwelling and detached garage.
The application includes changing the use of an agricultural building to include commercial uses on land next to Hendre Fach, Carno.
Since 2021, three other previous applications to gain outline planning permission for a dwelling on the site have been lodged with the council, two failed and another was withdrawn.
Carno Community Council supported this version of the proposal.
The applicants had argued that they need to have the house for the use of full-time workers that currently work at the forestry business.
At the meeting Cllr Les George the county councillor for Carno spoke in favour of the plans and urged the committee to vote for it.
Applicant Edward Jones explained to the committee that his firm work in the forestry sector preparing existing and new tree plantations.
He stressed that they need to be on site – to deal with out of hours emergencies and that he would “lose contracts” if the application were refused.
Cllr Elwyn Vaughan said: “To me it’s obvious that such a family and business owner should be allowed to live on site, the test for the need to me is crystal clear.
“We have a classic situation with a young Welsh speaking family who want to grow their own enterprise in their own community yet, we’re saying no,”
Cllr Vaughan added that he would propose approving the application and go against officer recommendations.
Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson said: “To me this application encapsulates what we’re trying to do as a local authority, encourage rural business and the bolstering of the Powys economy and the ability to retain young people.
“It ticks so many boxes and it allows us to be seen as an enabling local authority rather than one that’s preventing all of those things happening.”
Planning development manager Peter Morris said: “Rural enterprise dwellings are complicated.
“There has to be a functional reason why someone needs to live on the spot.
“They might use the building for storage, but the business is not there, it’s out amongst all the forestry.
“That’s the connection between dwelling and land that I’m looking for to establish the functional need, and I haven’t heard it here.”
He added that on rural enterprise dwellings planning permission comes with a condition included that that it needs to be an “affordable home.”
Cllr Geoff Morgan said: “It’s quite obvious that the officer is 100 per cent right and the policy is 100 per cent wrong.
“It’s up to us to step up otherwise nothing will change.”
Cllr Morgan believes that councillors need to put a motion to full council asking for the council to write to the Welsh Government asking for a review of planning legislation around rural enterprise dwellings.
A third solution presented itself which was to postpone or “defer” a decision on the application to allow planning officers and the applicant to work together to find a solution that everyone would be happy with.
The committee then went to a vote.
The proposal to defer the application was voted on first and five councillors voted in favour, and nine against.
This saw Cllr Vaughan’s proposal to approve the application put in front of committee and it won with 13 councillors voting in favour and only one against. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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