PERMISSION to build a holiday cabin near Guilsfield has been given by councillors, but only in theory.

The applicants will have to wait for the Welsh Government to give them the green light.

Councillors on Powys County Council’s (PCC) planning committee were told that the Welsh Government Minister of Housing and Local Government, Julie James AM, had been asked to “call in the application” for Llidiart Wood, Laundry Lane, Moelygarth, near Guilsfield.

The planning committee  on Thursday, October 3, was supposed to decide the application but had been directed by the minister to withhold granting permission.

Planning permission only becomes effective or granted when applicants receive a formal letter confirming it.

Councillors were informed that the Minister will read the officer’s report on the application before deciding whether or not to take over the process by calling the application in, and making the decision herself.

Planning committee solicitor, Colin Edwards, explained: “The direction prevents the authority from determining and granting permission.

“Planning is granted when it is signed and issued.

“The proposal today, if you agree, would be to say that you are minded to grant permission.”

Mr Edwards added that the professional lead (planning officer) in consultation with the chairman (Cllr Karl Lewis) and vice-chairman (Cllr E. Michael Jones) would grant the decision after PCC has “heard from (the) Welsh Government.”

County Times:

The applicant wanted to build the cabin to provide accommodation for tourists.

It had been argued that the cabin was justified due to it’s closeness to Powis Castle and even nearby public pathways.

This was described by Cllr Elwyn Vaughan (Plaid Cymru – Glantwymyn) as “tenuous” and could “set a precedent” for applications at ancient woodlands.

Principal planning officer Gemma Bufton said: “It has been considered by the county ecologist  that the proposal would not result in the loss or deterioration of ancient woodland.”

Cllr Gwilym Williams (Conservative – Disserth and Trecoed) said: “Having first looked at this it seemed a straight forward application, but at closer inspection there are concerns.

“I’ve not seen a Minister do this on an application since I’ve been here.

“I also thought that you couldn’t do anything with an ancient woodland.”

Cllr Linda Corfield (Independent – Forden), said: “There are two structures already there.

“This is classed as ancient woodland but to me I don’t see any mature trees of great girth.

“By and large they don’t look much more than saplings really.

“This construction will only have one bedroom, so I don’t have any problem with it.”

After nearly an hour and 20 minutes, discussing the proposal, Cllr E Michael Jones (Independent – Old Radnor) said: “I thinks we have a fall back position.

“If we are minded to approve this application, it will be considered by Welsh Government and if they are not happy with the situation, it can be called in.

“I would be happy to move it to test the meeting.”

The application was passed by 15 votes to four.

Earlier Cllr David Jones (Independent- Guilsfield) had spoken in favour of the application while Mrs Blackburn and Mrs Wandsworth had raised objections.