QUARRYING will continue at a site between Newtown and Caersws – unless plans for a holiday park are given the green light by Powys planners – a planning agent has said.
Earlier this month, Graham Grigg of GF Grigg quarry lodged an application with Powys County Council to build a site 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 near the A489 main road.
Last week it was revealed the Montgomeryshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) have lodged an objection against the plans and asked for it to be “called in” to be decided by the council’s Planning committee.
Grigg’s planning agent Jonathan Lambe has responded to the criticism of the scheme and believes the basis of CPRW’s objection is “misleading” and “incorrect.”
The issue centres around a condition attached to planning permission for the quarry dating back to 2013 – which was approved in May 2014.
At the time permission was given by Powys planners to allow engineering and stabilising works to the quarry face before it is backfilled.
The conditions said: “A scheme for the restoration, including landscaping, planting, appropriate seeding mix, and the proportion of species used, will be submitted to and agreed in writing with the local planning authority.”
Other conditions also attached to the permission said: “The backfilling and restoration of the site will be completed within 30 years of the date of this permission.”
That would mean May 2044.
CPRW brought up this condition in their objection and believe that the proposal of the holiday park needs to be considered against a restored site rather than a quarry.
But the developers disagree.
Mr Lambe said: “If planning consent is not able to be granted for the holiday lodges, the quarry and the industrial / commercial activities including the recycling centre will continue exactly as they are, and the quarry will not close.
“There is no reason for the quarry to close if planning consent is not granted.
“We wish this to be made clear as there clearly seems to be misunderstanding that the quarry will close, and the site will be reinstated if it is not granted consent – this is not the case.”
He added that CPRW have not “acknowledged” the benefits of the scheme which Mr Lambe said would see “£2.28million additional spends” into the local economy and would support 16 full and part time jobs.
CPRW stand by the comments they have already submitted to the council on the proposal and have added highway safety reasons as another strand to their objection.
CPRW said: “The main road in this vicinity is already an accident blackspot, much attention would be required to visibility, it’s not now just ready mixed vehicles but all the cars to 89 lodges and all the service vehicles to this development.”
Penstrowed is part of the Llandinam with Dolfor ward, which is represented by Conservative Cllr Karl Lewis, who is the Chairman of the council’s Planning, Taxi Licensing and Rights of Way committee.
Cllr Lewis has said that he sees “no reason or grounds” to call the application into his committee for a decision and points out that Mochdre with Penstrowed community council has backed the scheme at a recent meeting as they did earlier this year when a bigger scheme for 94 caravans was lodged and withdrawn later.
CPRW have said that they will be contacting the Welsh Government to “call in” the application and take it out of Powys planners hands.