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Guilsfield planning permission granted

Created on 01/10/2020 @ 17:09
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Outline planning permission has been given to build nine homes at the former petrol station in Guilsfield, which has stood empty for several years.

At Powys County Council’s Planning Committee meeting today, councillors were told that they were there to approve the “principle” development at the former Fairview Garage.

This means that before work can start, the Bradley family who applied for permission will need to come back with more detailed plans of what they intend building on the site.

Guilsfield county councillor, David Jones, who spoke against the application, said: “You are all aware of the density of dwelling proposed for this speculative site, it’s 57.5 dwellings per hectare.”

He pointed out the the Local Development Plan (LDP) stated that a density of 27 units per hectare was recommended.

“This application is 213% above the guide,” said Cllr Jones.

He continued: “I support the principle of development on this site, it has been an eyesore for far too long.

“This is the wrong development in the wrong place. If this development is rejected they will come back with a better proposal.”

Planning officer, Luke Jones, agreed that the plans did exceed the density levels, but it was considered “acceptable” in a large village.

Agent, Doug Hughes, said: “We have worked hard to come up with a solution for this challenging brownfield site, in what is a really lovely village setting.”

Mr Hughes said that there were only two questions to answer for the site, could a community facility work on it? And if not, then what would?

Mr Hughes, said that the Bradleys had bought the site in 2015 with the intention of having a shop there.

However, the village shop came on the market soon after, and the Bradleys bought and refurbished it.

Mr Hughes said: “What do you do with a site which is surrounded on all sides by housing?

“One of the objectors suggested a row of shops. But at a time when our major towns are struggling, any form of commercial development in our smaller villages is not commercially viable. Housing is the best outcome here.

“A residential development of nine dwellings on this site provides for much needed variety of smaller housing in this village.

“The finer details of this application will be reserved for further consideration.”

Cllr Gwilym Williams asked if Guilsfield Community Council had commented on the application?

“I’d like their views,” said Cllr Williams.

Lead professional planning officer, Peter Morris added: “We have received correspondence overnight. They pointed out that the officer handling this was giving them more time, but that officer left at the end of May.”

Mr Morris said that he understood the difficulties faced by community councils holding meetings through the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mr Morris said: “I was always making the point to community councils that you may struggle to meet, but that does not stop you providing comments. We have a paying customer here that wants us to make a decision.

“There’s only so long we can wait. We’ve given them several months.”

Cllr Hywel Lewis said: “There is a recognised need for smaller housing units in Guilsfield. I know the site, to me it cries out to be developed, I’m fully supportive.

The application was passed by 13 votes for and one abstention.

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