CONCERNS were raised that access is needed to allow excavators to dredge a brook where a new housing estate will be built.

On Thursday, October 3, Powys County Council’s planning committee discussed  reserved matter application that details the access, appearance, layout and scale of the proposal to build 49 homes at land near Plas Foxen, Four Crosses.

Outline planning permission had been given to the scheme in November 2016, with a whopping 39 conditions that the developer has to address before building can take place.

Although on the southern edge of Four Crosses the land is part of the Llandrinio Community Council area.

The reserved matters application had been brought in front of the committee by Llandrinio’s County Councillor, Lucy Roberts (Conservative) who spoke at the meeting.

Cllr Roberts said: “Within this area the maintenance of drainage ditches is extremely important as it’s low lying and subject to flooding.”

Drainage work is overseen by environmental body, Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

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To allow access for the dredging work at Sarn Wen Brook, Cllr Roberts explained that the wall, if solid, needed to be three metres outside the “buffer zone” for otters and wild voles.

At the site another buffer zone, this time eight metres from the brook, needs to be free of obstruction.

This is to allow excavators access to the brook but this could cause problems as the zone crosses an access road.

“I am concerned about the access to allow the drainage to be carried out, because this site is so tight there is no way the buffer zone can be moved,” added Cllr Roberts.

Peter Richards, agent for the applicants, said: “There are already adequate safeguarding conditions on this development.

“Specification width of the buffer strip and drainage corridor has been done in consultation with NRW.

“They are happy there’s adequate space to regularly dredge the ditch and move the spoil from the site, and the access road can be adequately crossed by a super size digger.”

Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson, (Conservative – Meifod), said: “It’s great to see houses being built in Powys.

“We’ve had precious few and I’m keen to see a lot more.

“I want to be assured that the access to the ditch remains easy for dredging.

“It’s critical that it is cleaned as we could have some real issues with flooding on the site.”

Planning officer Louise Evans confirmed that NRW would be making sure the dredging would continue.

Cllr Elwyn Vaughan (Plaid Cymru – Glantwymyn) said: “I have been advised that we can use JCB without tracks and it won’t interfere with the tarmac and kerbs so I move the recommendation.”

The application was passed unanimously.