A Powys County Council investigation has concluded that there has been a breach of planning consent after work was carried out this summer to build a driveway over some graves at Hodley Chapel.

Works carried out at the graveyard in the hamlet near Kerry caused shock and anger among families who said they were made unaware that the development would happen over their loved ones’ graves.

The Dolafon Gospel Hall Trust, who own the chapel, and their agent Ian Pryce have been told by the council that they must reduce the size of the vehicular access gateway, install a pedestrian gate, reduce the hardstanding area, and remove fenceposts within the graveyard within the next 14 days.


As part of the investigation, the council’s Built Heritage Conservation Officer has reviewed the works and decided that listed building consent is not required.

A Powys County Council spokesman added: “The council’s remit and responsibilities only relate to land use planning related matters. Officers have referred the possible disturbance of graves to Dyfed-Powys Police and the Ministry of Justice as the relevant enforcing authorities for other legislation.”

Powys County Councillor Elwyn Vaughan, who has expressed concerns about the development, said: “I’m pleased that at last it has been confirmed as a result of my enforcement complaint. It is imperative now therefore that matters are not only corrected but that not one grave used as a driveway to this gospel hall. We await with anticipation.

“Residents and families want to graveyard returned to how it was and that is what we will be pushing for.”

A spokesperson for The Dolafon Trust said: “Being good neighbours and serving our local community has always been our absolute priority.

"Over the last two weeks, we have listened carefully to feedback from the community, and following further discussions with Powys County Council, we have suspended all works at Bethany Chapel.

“We continue to be in discussion with the Council to address any issues with the site and will fully co-operate with relevant organisations on any outstanding investigations. We are committed to learning from mistakes and making things right with the local community.”