PLANS by “one of the busiest horsebox fabricators in Wales and the UK” for a new building near Llanybydder, have been subject to a Welsh Government ‘call-in’ attempt, Ceredigion councillors heard.
Back in 2021, Peter Jones, of Morgan Jones Horse Boxes, applied for permission to build the horsebox fabrication building, and associated works, on land some one-and-a-half miles from the village.
Agent Morgan & Flynn Architectural Services in a supporting statement to the application, said the business was “one of the busiest horsebox fabricators in Wales and the UK”.
“The application represents and expansion of the existing family business which has been well established in the area for a number of years. The increased demand for the product and the need to meet customer requirements means that a new purpose-built facility is required but it is essential that this facility remains close to the existing setup so as to maintain their local identity.
“The intention is to develop a purpose-built unit away from the existing yard at Moelfre which will allow the applicant to provide a more professional service and modern facility to meet increased demand.”
The application was previously heard by members of Ceredigion County Council’s planning committee back in March but was deferred at that meeting, members of the committee’s September meeting heard.
The March Development Management Committee referred the application – which had been recommended for refusal – to both the Site Inspection Panel (SIP) and the Cooling Off Group for further consideration, before a final decision was taken on the application.
Members of the Site Inspection Panel recognised the need for expansion at a new location, asking for additional information from the applicant in regard the sequential approach that had been undertaken in choosing the site.
The Cooling Off Group found no suitable sites within 40 miles.
An officers’ report said: “After considering the submitted information, the Local Planning Authority is concerned that the number of alternative sites looked at as part of the sequential test is too limited and there appears to be little evidence of the applicant having made a concerted effort to acquire an alternative and more sustainable site.
“In conclusion, the Local Planning Authority considers that insufficient evidence has been submitted to justify a departure from national and local planning policy in this instance. Consequently, the recommendation to refuse remains.”
The application was again recommended for refusal at the September meeting, on the grounds the proposed site was outside a settlement boundary, and it would represent an intrusion into the open countryside.
Members at the September meeting heard a request for the scheme to be ‘called in’ for the Welsh Government to decide it had since been made by persons unknown; which is still in process, members hearing the Welsh Government wished to know the committee’s views on the scheme.
Councillor Ifan Davies proposed the application be deferred again until more information is received, saying both the committee and the ‘cooling-off’ committee were supportive of the “important manufacturing microbusiness”.
Members agreed to again defer the application to a future meeting.