ENVIRONMENTAL watchdog and planning statutory consultee, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), has expressed concerns about plans for a caravan park near Caersws.

Nearly a year ago, landowner Trevor Bebb, submitted plans for 100 static caravans, five chalets and an amenity building to be built on the former Mid Wales Golf Centre on the outskirts of Caersws.

A swimming pool, indoor fitness studio and a spa are included in the plans.

In her letter to PCC planners. NRW development planning advisor, Cinzia Sertorio believes that a conservation strategy for Great Crested Newts is needed.

A second requirement she has brought up is on foul drainage.

She believes that the site should be connected to the mains sewerage system or: “satisfactory evidence to be provided to demonstrate that it is not reasonable to connect to the mains.”

Ms Sertorio, said: “We continue to have significant concern with the proposed development as submitted.

“We recommend you should only you should only grant planning permission if the requirements are met.

“Otherwise, we would object to this planning application.”

Ms Sertorio said: “The precise details of overall conservation scheme are not necessarily required at this stage of the planning decision making process.

“But there must be a methodology in place that identifies how individual components of the overall conservation scheme will be addressed in detail.”

The proposed development is just over 1.6kilometres away from the public sewer.

NRW believe that the developer has not: “thoroughly investigated the possibility” of connecting to the sewer.

Ms Sertorio added: “We understand that connection to the mains may have prohibitive cost.

“But, we classify this proposal within distance of the mains sewer connection and therefore we would expect this to be demonstrated with any planning application.”

In May 2018, Mr Bebb successfully applied for a change of use for 20 caravans, following the closure of the existing nine-hole golf course.

The plan would see the existing golf course and buildings demolished to make way for the new infrastructure.

A planning statement included as part of the application said: “Over recent years, the Mid Wales Golf Centre in Caersws, along with many other UK golf courses, experienced significant economic viability issues and was therefore closed and placed on the market.

“Many such courses have reverted back to farmland, including the Welsh Border Golf Complex at Bulthy Farm, Middletown, and the Brookland Hall Golf Course near Guilsfield.”

The statement added: “The development represents a significant investment in the tourism industry in Powys and will give rise to substantial social and economic benefits.”

“By providing tourist accommodation the proposed development will help sustain existing services and businesses in Caersws, including shops, restaurants and pubs for the benefit of both tourist and local community alike.”

Comments on the application are open until December 9 and can be made to planning.services@powys.gov.uk