A PLANNING application to build a barn near Presteigne was thrown out by the planning committee as they thought the field was too slopey.

Councillors were also told at Powys County Council’s planning committee meeting, that enforcement action was ongoing against applicant, Ella Hammel.

She wanted to build the barn at The Slangs field, Cascob near Presteigne.

A design and access statement explained that she needed the barn for:

• Storage of hay and straw

• Storage of agricultural machinery

• Covered area to work with stock during inclement weather

• Housing for two work horses during inclement weather

• Emergency housing for goats during extreme weather

And the application was backed by planning officers who said that if it had been at the other side of the field, near a church which is a listed building, they would have been against it.

The application has caused fury in the hamlet of Cascob and more than a dozen objectors were at the meeting.

Local county councillor, Hywel Lewis (Independent – Llangunllo) spoke against the application.

Cllr Lewis said:  “It is important to note that The Slangs is not a holding or a farm but merely the name of the field of approximately 25 acres of mainly steeply sloping land.”

Cllr Lewis said that the applicant had built all sorts of structures on the field which were being described locally as the “shanty town”.

“As someone who has practical farming experience I seriously question the ability of the sloping field to support anywhere near the stock being suggested,” said Cllr Lewis.

Cllr Lewis said the application should not be approved as he believed a further application would be made in the future to turn the barn into a house.

Community representative Marilyn Bees also spoke against the application and argued that it should be deferred until after the eviction order hearing had taken place.

Ella Hammel, who was given 10 minutes to defend her application, simply told the members to follow planning officers’ advice and allow the application.

Due to the site history Cllr Elwyn Vaughan (Plaid Cymru – Glantwymyn)  believed that the application should be deferred until after the enforcement action.

He also said that two other similarly sloping sites in Llanfair Caereinion had been refused permission and a planning inspector backed the committee’s decision at appeal.

Following Cllr Vaughan’s comments, committee solicitor, Colin Edwards, advised members to forget about the enforcement action and stick to the application in front of them.

Cllr Roger Williams (Liberal Democrat – Felinfach) added: “It’s very difficult for us sitting looking at two dimensional slides (2D) to see how this will affect the landscape.”

Cllr Williams believed the committee should visit the site.

Cllr Vaughan changed his motion for deferral to one of refusal:  “Because of the detrimental affect on the landscape I move we refuse the application.”

The committee voted to refuse the application by 12 votes to three and one abstention.