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Newtown services plans approved

The site on the outskirts of Newtown where a planning application to build a hotel, pub, restaurant, drive through coffee shop and petrol station has been approved (Pic: Google Streetview)

PLANS that could create over 200 jobs by building a hotel, pub, drive through coffee shop and petrol station on the outskirts of Newtown have been given the go ahead by Powys planners.

The scheme by Melrose Bros Ltd was lodged with Powys County Council last year and is for the roadside services to be built on land just off the Newtown bypass near the Glandulas caravan park and David Davies roundabout.

Approving the outline planning application means that the principle of development has now been established.

Documents supporting the proposal estimate that 78 full time jobs and 39 part time jobs could be created across the hotel, pub, drive through coffee shop and petrol station.

In addition, 113 building jobs would be created during the construction phase.

Several objections were lodged against the proposal on issues such as: the out of town location, no demonstrated need for the development, that there are other better sites for this, the negative impact the development would have on other Newtown businesses and the neighbouring caravan site.

Mochdre with Penstrowed community council did support the application – but ha reservations.

The council said: “The need for further hotel accommodation in Newtown is debatable, with some councillors feeling further accommodation was needed and would generate income for the town and other councillors feeling Newtown has sufficient hotel accommodation in the independent hotels already established and trading, and this may harm their businesses.”

The council’s reception for the petrol station and restaurant was similarly lukewarm with councillors also having “reservations” on this aspect of the plans.

Planning officer Rhian Griffiths said: “The application consists of several elements which make up the overall development. ”

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Ms Griffiths explained that an out of town location for a hotel would only be suitable if no “suitable sites” can be found in the town centre or on its edge.

Ms Griffiths said:  “The application is supported by a sequential test which notes that a search was undertaken for sites of comparable size within the town centre, though none were found.”

“As such, it is considered that the sequential test has been satisfied.”

She believed that similar sequential tests for the pub and restaurant were not needed as they refer to “major retail” such as supermarkets.

Ms Griffiths said: “These tests are not specifically designed for uses as proposed by this application.

“The type of facility proposed, being a multi-use service station, is not available within the town centre.

“The closest comparable service being at the Buttington Cross roundabout in Welshpool, some 17 miles away.

“It is therefore considered that the need is justified.”

Due to this she said the proposal complies with planning policy and gave it conditional consent.

A further planning application providing the details of the access, appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale needs to be approved by the council before building work can start.

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