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Holiday park objectors want proposals ‘called in’ for scrutiny

Penstrowed Holiday lodge - how the lodges could look

OBJECTORS to plans for a holiday park between Newtown and Caersws want to see the proposals “called in” to be decided by councillors at a Powys County Council Planning committee meeting.

Earlier this month, Graham Grigg of GF Grigg quarry lodged an application with the council for 89 holiday lodges, informal recreation area, a fishing pond and two other ponds, games room and additional recreation facilities at the quarry.

The quarry is sited on the flank of Maesmawr hill, Penstrowed above the A489 main road.

The quarry at Penstrowed from the A489 main road (Pic: Google Streetview)

The Montgomeryshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) have asked for it to be “called in” as it is “raising many issues.”

They had also objected to the original application which had been for 94 lodges which was withdrawn by earlier this year.

They argue that while the development may not be “quite as crowded” as the previous proposal it is still not “low density.”

CPRW said: “We wish to object most strongly to the application.

“We are presented with a very large number of lodges on an extremely exposed location on the side of a hill visible to people journeying along the valley and to residents facing it from across the Severn Valley.

“The developers are at pains to point out that the lodges will be an improvement on the ‘industrial buildings’ that are presently on site. ”

“However, that is not the base against which the development should be measured.

“Usually when quarries reach the end of their economic life there is a requirement for the land to be rehabilitated.”

CPRW point out that this is a condition attached to planning permission for the site and they believe the yardstick should be whether a holiday park is better than the site being returned to its former state.

Penstrowed is part of the Llandinam with Dolfor ward, which is represented by Conservative Cllr Karl Lewis, who id the Chairman of the council’s Planning, Taxi Licensing and Rights of Way committee.

Cllr Lewis said: “The first time it was in, I received no objections from residents, and I had many comments that they thought it was a wonderful idea.”

He also said that Mochdre with Penstrowed community council had  backed the previous application.

Cllr Lewis said that CPRW had contacted him in March when the first application was live – but stressed this member: “does not live in my ward.”

Cllr Lewis said, “At this time I have no reason or grounds to call the application into the committee.”

Mr Grigg’s planning agent Jonathan Lambe explained the proposal in a design and access statement.

Mr Lambe said: “This proposal is to replace the intensive industrial and construction activities with 89 bespoke five star holiday lodges aimed at the over 50s.

“The site  is set in the developed mature woodland expanded tree belts and mature tree cover.”

Mr Lambe claims the proposal could bring in up to £2.28 million to the local economy if the accommodation is used for 30 weeks a year.

Mr Lambe said: “The site needs a new appropriate and viable land use which would enable the site to be reinstated, landscaped, and enable the existing enterprise to diversify.

He added that the scheme would: “retain employment and create additional job opportunities.”

A decision on the application needs to be made by January 26 – 2024.