OWNERS of a caravan park near Llanfair Caereinion will be allowed to extend their site after Welsh Government planning inspectors approved their appeal.
Back in March the Powys County Council Planning Committee rejected an application by Sheehan Holdings Ltd to change the use of a field to be able to accommodate 20 caravans.
In doing this the committee went against planning officer’s advice to approve the scheme.
Sheehan Holdings wanted to extend Fir View Holiday Park at Tan y Ffridd which is located off the A495 between Pontrobert and Llangyniew.
Just over two years ago planning permission was granted for 54 static caravans, which took the number at the holiday park up to 228.
At the meeting in March councillors focussed their concerns on a proposed emergency evacuation route through Mathrafal wood to the rear of the site.
They believed that the route is prone to flooding and pointed out that it’s not actually owned by Sheehan Holdings.
This track which is used for forestry purposes is part of the Welsh Government estate.
The visual impact was also brought up with some councillors believing it would be a “blot on the landscape.”
The appeal was lodged by Charmaine Sheehan of Sheehan Holdings and an appeal to award costs against the council has also been submitted to PEDW (Planning and Environment Decisions Wales).
Planning inspector Ian Stevens said: “The main issues are the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the surrounding area; and whether the proposal would result in any unacceptable risks from flooding.”
Mr Stevens said that the scheme would have “landscaping” and additional screening” and saw “no reason” to believe that alterations to land levels would result on any “significant visual impact.”
Mr Stevens said: “The proposal would not harmfully affect the valued characteristics of the landscape.”
On the risk of flooding, Mr Steven said that planning technical advice notes say that escape and evacuation routes need to be operational “under all conditions.”
Mr Stevens said: “The evacuation route lies outside of any flood risk area and connects onto classified county highways to the north of the site.
“From the evidence provided the track appears to be passable and in good condition to facilitate access to and from the caravan park, should it be required in emergency events.
“While concerns have been raised about the tree felling operations taking place along the evacuation route on land that falls outside of the appellant’s control, I have seen no evidence that this is likely to block the route for extended periods of time.”
He added that evidence from Ms Sheehan also shows that flood notices displayed at the caravan park identifies the evacuation route.
Mr Steven said: “I am satisfied that there is a feasible and operational escape/evacuation plan, should it be required.
“The appeal is allowed, and planning permission is granted.”
A separate decision will be made on the award of costs to Ms Sheehan.