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Powys dismisses Guilsfield complaint

Created on 23/02/2021 @ 12:47


By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Powys County Council (PCC) has thrown out a complaint made by Guilsfield Community Council (GCC) into the way planners dealt with a planning application in the middle of the village.

In October 2020, PCC’s planning committee approved an outline planning application to build nine homes at the former Fairview garage in the middle of Guilsfield.

GCC thought that the application was on hold due to the Covid-19 crisis so a pubic consultation could be held, and had not given PCC an opinion on the scheme before it was decided.

GCC meetings were suspended from March to September, and during that time members had not met to discuss the application, which had also been submitted to PCC in March.

The formal complaint had been lodged with PCC in December 2020.

At their February meeting, GCC discussed what to do next and Cllr Ed Davies said: “Reading the response from Powys it was no surprise really, it was expected.

“The comment saying that we had plenty of time to consider took no account that the planning officers had changed.”

GCC vice-chairman Cllr Glynne Turner, said: “I just wish I had the resources to fight them, what really annoys me on the whole process is they could have spoken to us.”

GCC chairman, Cllr Ian Harris, pointed out that a Judicial Review application had been made over a contentious planning permission at Hendomen, near Montgomery.

He also highlighted that another legal challenge against a planning permission had been successful.

Cllr Harris said: “There was an application in Knighton regarding a chicken farm, where there had been a substantial objection by people which was ignored by planners.

“They did Crowdfunding to fund a Judicial Review which caused PCC to back down. That’s quite a useful tip for the future.”

Cllr Harris added: “Im not sure what we’re going to get out of anymore letters to them, we have the option of raising this with the Ombudsman, but is there any point to that?”

Both Cllr Davies and Turner recommended “drawing a line” as continuing to complain was “getting nowhere”.

The report on the complaint by a PCC case officer said: “With regards to the community council’s ability to hold a meeting, I note that the community council held a meeting on the September 16, 2020, which was prior to the determination of the planning application.

“Whilst accepting that the community council wished to undertake a public consultation event, it is my opinion that the planning application subject to this complaint could have been considered at the meeting.

“With regards to the planning committee on October 1, 2020, the community council was notified that the application was to be determined at the October Planning Committee on September 22 .

“This in my opinion provided the council the ability to either forward a consultation response or make representations at the planning committee meeting.

“Considering the evidence I do not uphold your complaint.”


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