A LONE councillor voted against an application to move a path that goes through a partially built barn at a Powys Council Council estate farm near Forden.

Cllr Roger Williams (Liberal Democrat – Felinfach) voted against the diversion on principle.

This is because one of his constituents has been waiting years for a similar diversion.

Diversions that need to accommodate a development are given priority by PCC.

In April an application to build a barn at Severnside Farm, part of PCC’s farm estate, was approved. The barn would help the tenant increase milk production.

Footpath 29 goes right through the barn, and a diversion of nearly a kilometre from OS (Ordnance Survey) grid reference SJ 2187,0181 to SJ 2212,0262 was needed.

Cllr Williams said: “I guess this application was made some time after April 19 when the planning permission was issued.

“So in a matter of four months we are able to receive an application for a diversion of the footpath and go through all the necessary procedures.

“Now the officers can make a recommendation.”

“I really do object to the process we have now.”

Cllr Williams felt it totally wrong to give priority to path diversions that affect planning applications or permission over people who have been waiting on a list for years.

Cllr Williams continued: “I’m sure you all probably know the name of Llywelyn Vaughan of Llandefalle.

“He has a diversion application that’s been in for many years.

“It’s an application to take the footpath out of the farmyard.

“This (Footpath 29) has been given precedence over it which comes from the council. So in a way we are favouring the authority.”

“I’m going to vote against this on principle.”

Cllr Williams said that he would be advising Mr Vaughan to put in an application for a rabbit hutch and then he would have the diversion dealt with.

Commons registration and definitive map officer Sian Barnes, said that the barn had been partially built already but people could still walk through it.

The diversion was voted through by all councillors except Cllr Williams.

Earlier Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson (Conservative – Meifod) congratulated staff for their work and criticised The Welsh Government for not funding PCC properly.

Cllr Wilkinson, said: “There are over 12,000 footpaths and by-ways in Powys and it’s beyond the scope of Sian and her team now, to deal with them in a timely manner.

“The Welsh Government has not recognised the special nature of Powys when they allocate resources.

“It’s not acceptable to extract our officers from dealing with the huge volume of diversion applications.

“I know there are many pending and we simply don’t have the resources to deal with this incredible infrastructure we have.

“If we wish to encourage tourism and public to have access to our countryside. lack of resource is not helping.”