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Planning permission appeal fails for aluminium security gates in Croesyceiliog

TWO metre high aluminium gates built at the entrance to a barn conversion will have to be removed after an appeal against a refusal of planning permission was rejected. 

Planning inspector Janine Townsley also dismissed claims from householder David Holman that the gates were required for security reasons at his home at Little Cider Mill Barn on Tre-Herbert Road, Croesyceiliog on the outskirts of Cwmbran. 

The independent inspector said protecting the rural setting of the roadside, which is within the countryside, was more important than Mr Holman’s security. 

He had appealed to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales against Monmouthshire County Council’s refusal of planning permission for the gates and its decision to take enforcement action against him, in June of last year, giving him three months to remove the gates. 

But his appeals failed, with Ms Townsley dismissing his pleas for the gates to be retained. She wrote in her report: “Matters such as neighbour disputes and references to the police do not fall to be considered by me as part of my assessment of the planning merits of the scheme before me.

“Whilst I have taken into account the appellant’s desire for additional security at his home, this consideration does not outweigh the harm caused to the character and appearance of the rural setting by the driveway gates which have been installed.”

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Some information Mr Holman had put forward as part of the appeal hasn’t been published by the appeal body, which cited data protection regulations. 

In her report Ms Townsley said the house had retained the appearance of a barn, due to its “sensitive conversion”, and said other buildings in the area also retain a rural character and she could see no other examples of “domestic/ urban style means of enclosure”.  

She said the accepted the gates were “high quality” and the wood grain effect was “convincing” but “the gates are clearly domestic in style and their height and style does not reflect the rural character of the area”. 

She added: “The gates are adjacent to the highway at a point where they are in clear public view in a setting which is rural in character and they fail to respect the historical value of the appeal site by introducing a means of enclosure which conflicts visually with the setting.”