PLANS for business units at Abermule Business Park sacrifices “quality for quantity” according to villagers.

At a hybrid face to face and remote attendance meeting of Abermule with Llandyssil community council on Wednesday, October 14, councillors and members of the public were given an opportunity to air their views.

This is in response to a pre-application consultation for a proposal to build business units at the site.

Powys County Council (PCC) want to build nine units at the business park which is at the edge of the village, and where a Bulking recycle facility is being built.

The units would range in size from 500 to 120 square metres.

The application does differ from the outline planning application for six units which was approved along with the Bulking facility by the PCC Planning committee in August 2018.

Jeff Mathews of campaign group Abermule Communities Together (ACT), wondered if alternative ideas brought up as part of the consultation would be taken seriously.

Powys County Councillor for Dolforwyn, Gareth Pugh, who represents the village said: “I do believe that Powys will listen to us.”

He pointed out that the former Laura Ashley business units in Newtown had all been snapped up and he believed this showed a need for bigger units in the area.

County Times:

Cllr Pugh “In my view you would be better off having two or three big units there to create employment.”

Mr Mathews said: “If we got reasonable businesses in on the site using bigger units, that’s great for employment.

“What we don’t want is dirty industry going in there, and the whole place looking like a shambolic mess.”

“What we want is something that suits a rural setting.”

Cllr Gwyneth Jones, said: “I’m disappointed with what’s been put forward because it’s nothing like what we were promised in 2018, it’s definitely more of an industrial estate rather than business units."

Cllr Richard Jerman asked if any market research had been done.

Cllr Pugh responded by reading an email he had received on the issue from PCC principal engineer, Simon Kendrick.

“Not specifically at Abermule as we are now building speculatively, but evidence from the rest of Powys suggest that the range of sizes we are proposing are required by both starter businesses and those looking to expand,” read out Cllr Pugh.

Council chairman, Cllr Jane Rees, said that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the consultation process.

She said: “Councillors and the public were denied the opportunity to receive a presentation and ask questions which could have been arranged virtually.

“Whilst councillors acknowledge the need for local employment, with the downgrading of the site and the development of the bulking facility this will never be the prestigious business park the community were led to believe would be developed on this site.”

“Taking into account the design and appearance of the layout and density of the units, this proposal appears to sacrifice quality for quantity.”

The consultation finishes on October 26.