A decision on a on an eight-year-running scheme for a housing estate in a north Ceredigion village has been deferred after a Natural Resources Wales call for a 1,000-year flood event assessment.

In an outline application recommended for refusal at the May meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s development management committee, Mr and Mrs Jenkins sought permission for the development of 22 homes, including four affordable units, on land opposite Gellimanwydd, Talybont, between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth.

Members heard that despite objections from Ceulanamaesmawr Community Council and some 20 members of the public, the scheme was considered to comply with the local development policy in terms of the need for housing in the area.

A sticking point, and the reason for a recommendation for refusal, was a concern raised by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).


A report for members said NRW has concerns with the proposal, and wants modelling taking into account a "1,000-year event" with allowance for climate change.

“Without resolution of this matter, it cannot be concluded as to whether the scheme is acceptable or not from a flooding perspective and whether it can be supported or not," it said.

County Times: Ceredigion Council's offices.Ceredigion Council's offices.

Speaking at the meeting, Mrs Jenkins said there had been “positive responses from the vast majority of agencies” to the scheme.

“Unfortunately, our contact with NRW has been a long and frustrating one, it seems as if they are finding something for the sake of it.”

She said the there had been “many barriers” from NRW over the last eight years, leading to the applicants asking local MS Elin jones to take up their plight.

“After all these years we feel we are being treated unfairly,” she told planners.

Local member Catrin M S Davies said: “This is an eight-year-old application,” adding: “The only problem is with NRW; they [the applicants] have responded to all requests but there has been another request looking at a once in 1,000-year occurrence, modelling 1,000 years, I don’t understand how any expert can undertake that work.”

Councillor Gareth Lloyd moved a deferment rather than a straightforward refusal: “I saw this as a positive application, the only sticking point was the flooding and NRW; I sure I had hair on my head before I started dealing with them [NRW].”

Councillor Marc Davies seconded Cllr Lloyd: “This is a classic one, it’s eight years, NRW have moved the goalposts time and again.”

Head of Planning Russell Hughes-Pickering said there was an officer preference to actually refuse the current application, offering the applicants a second bite of the cherry.

“The planning system has a mechanism whereby you can have a free go; applicants can go away and re-submit and not be penalised in monetary terms.”

Members agreed to defer the application for six months, giving officers delegated powers to either approve or refuse the scheme.