THE battle to stop outline planning permission being given to 41 homes in a field that floods on the outskirts of Caersws, needed to have been fought 15 years ago.

While some councillors felt uncomfortable with the plans for land at Penyborfa on Carno Road, the fact that the land has been included in Powys County Council’s (PCC) development plans for a decade, meant they had little option but to approve the proposal.

Before the application was discussed at PCC’s planning committee on Thursday, February 6, councillors had travelled to Caersws to visit the site.

At the meeting opponents of the project pointed out that the field is prone to flooding and that developments like this should not be built on flood plains.

Agent, Christopher Wozencraft, pointed out that Penyborfa had been identified by PCC as land with the potential to build houses on as long ago as 2003, and it is in the  current Local Development Plan (LDP).

Mr Wozencraft also said they had “jumped through serious hoops” to address the flooding issue.

Part of the field does flood and is in a flood plain, but not the part the houses would be built on.

Applicant, Geraint Jarman, added that there had been no objections to including the land in the Unitary Development plan in 2010.

Cllr Linda Corfield (Independent – Forden) said: “It’s good that we had the site visit because it does put it into context much more clearly than if we hadn’t been to see it.

“I know there are lots of concerns on the flood aspect but this is in the LDP.

“To me it just does not fit right.

“It seems to be too far from the main part of the village for a development of this size.

“This looks like dropping another small village outside an already existing village.

“I would disagree with the principle of development, to my mind it’s not appropriately located and suitable in scale and size.”

Cllr Corfield asked if there were any valid reasons that could help defend a decision to reject the plans?

Planning development manager Peter Morris answered: “I don’t think so.

“This site is clearly defined for housing allocation.

“As I sat here listening to some of the objectors I found myself thinking I wish I could wind the clock back for them, as some of that discussion should have been targeted at the development plan.

“This has gone through all the checks and tests, public consultation and come out the other side of that to be adopted.

“We have to work with that.”

Cllr David Selby (Liberal Democrat, Newtown Central) added: “The key debate was 15 years ago and that constrains what we can do and say on this application.

“That land is housing land and we can’t undo that, the principle can’t be changed.”

Cllr Selby added that he hoped work on the detailed reserve matters application could be done in concert between the applicant and objectors to lessen concerns locally.

The vote was 11 in favour of the application, two against and two abstentions.