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Probe into Arddleen warehouse

Created on 13/08/2018 @ 09:13
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Powys County Council (PCC) is investigating the building of a 3,000 square foot warehouse, built in a rural location and possibly without planning consent.

James Owen, of Penrhos Farm (pictured), has re-submitted a planning application to change the use of an agricultural building and associated works at the farm.

This is similar to an application that was refused by planners in April under delegated powers.

Mr Owen says that a lack of commercial buildings in the area forced him to do this to keep his business afloat.

The original application caused fury in the area earlier this year with PCC receiving objections from residents in the Sarnau, Penrhos and Deuther area, between the villages of Arddleen and Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain, as they believed that a warehouse had already been built there.

They believed the increase of vans and lorries delivering to Penrhos Farm would be dangerous.

A spokesperson for Powys said: “The council has been investigating this development and served a planning contravention notice to find out more information before deciding the next course of action.

“This information has been received by the council, which will now consider its options before deciding on the next step of this investigation.”

At the time, Stuart and Ann Baker objected because they felt the plans were imprecise and did not show the 3,000sq metre building there.

Mr and Mrs Baker said: “If planning permission is to be granted retrospectively will this set a worrying precedent for anyone to be able to build units wherever they want and whenever they want and what size they want without council permission.”

Llandrinio and Arddleen Community Council objected to the application and also pointed to the warehouse built without consent.

Powys County Councillor for Llandrinio, Lucy Roberts, said that she was waiting for updates from the planning department about the contravention notice.

Mr Owen’s agent, Richard Corbett of Roger Parry and partners LLP, said: “Our client, Mr Owen, purchased an agricultural property in Penrhos with a large footprint of redundant buildings and extensively renovated and replaced these to make them suitable for the business requirements.

“We are now in the process of seeking retrospective planning permission and hopeful the locals and council will recognise the potential and benefits they can offer to the community.

“Operating from five sites across the county, it was becoming an impossible task to manage.

“The impact of this would have ultimately led to failure and the redundancies.”

Mr Owen who runs an independent online retailer said: “It is my responsibility to maintain stability and provide a platform for growth and security.

“Faced with an impossible situation this was the only viable option, having exhausted every avenue in the search for suitable buildings or development land.”

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