Posted: Wed 28th Jun 2023

One Planet Development plans for Pembrokeshire receive approval

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 28th, 2023

A One Planet Development at in north Pembrokeshire – prepared with ‘military precision’ was unanimously backed by Pembrokeshire planners present. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Applicants Simon Hillam – a former British Army warrant officer – and nurse Clare Gray sought permission for a One Planet Development on three fields at Y Gaer Pencraig, Llangolman. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

One Planet Developments allow people to live off the land in the open countryside in a self-sufficient and eco-friendly way. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The application, which included the siting of a residential unit, yurt, produce shed, solar shed, goat shed, toilet, shower unit, storage containers and polytunnel and the creation of ponds, was recommended for conditional approval by Pembrokeshire planners at their May meeting. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Planners heard the couple, who currently live in nearby Hermon, already ran a successful business from the site called ‘Blossoms and Berries,’ which specialises in producing high-quality flower bouquets and fruit for sale at local farmers’ markets, making just over £12,000 a year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Members also heard the site includes Pencraig-Fawr Camp, a scheduled monument of national importance, believed to date to the Iron Age. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Local council Mynachlogddu Community Council had commented: “Councillors remain sceptical of development. Pembrokeshire County ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Council must urge the applicant to respect the iron age fort which is part of the site and to adhere to the strict rules governing the development of one planet.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Eight letters of support, and four in opposition to the development were also received. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Applicant Simon Hillen told planners he and his wife were “passionate growers,” who wanted to make a positive contribution to the area, conceding: “a One Planet Development lifestyle is not for the soft-hearted.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Speaking against the proposal, neighbour Michael Ritchie, felt the application – in an area of “unspoilt countryside” was neither appropriate to the area or the One Planet policy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He also raised concerns of the proximity to Pencraig-Fawr Camp, and felt the village was already “inundated with One Planet Developments”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Brian Hall, who moved approval, said the application was very different to earlier One Planet submissions, which often were difficult to support, adding: “I have no hesitation in going with the recommendation and wish them all the success.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He was seconded by Councillor Mark Carter, who said: “It seems a business to me that is going to go forward.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Fellow planner Councillor Rhys Jordan said it was “really pleasing to see such attention to detail,” describing the application as “effectively military precision in the way this has been carried out”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Tony Wilcox also compared the application with previous examples: “Over the years we’ve had some real doozies, but I’m fully confident this one will be successful.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

One member of the planning committee, Councillor Michael Williams, who has previously been critical of the One Planet Development scheme had withdrawn from the debate, citing a “prejudicial interest”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Williams has previously – at the February meeting of the county council’s Cabinet – called for a Wales-wide moratorium on all such future developments. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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