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Scheme to convert Unity House in Llandrinio into flats subject to planning appeal

A appeal has been lodged with Welsh Government planning inspectors as plans to convert the former nursing home, Unity House in Llandrinio into flats remain in limbo (Pic: Google Streetview)

AN APPEAL has been lodged with Welsh Government planning inspectors over a proposal to convert a former bed and breakfast in Llandrinio near Welshpool into flats.

A planning application by Charanjit Singh to convert Unity House into 15 one-bedroom apartments, two two-bedroom apartments and three studio apartments was lodged with Powys County Council in February 2021.

Parking spaces would also be created for 27 vehicles at the site.

The application was due to be decided by the council’s Planning Committee at a meeting on June 16, 2022.

The application had been “called in” to the committee for a decision by Llandrinio county councillor Lucy Roberts who had “major concerns” about the project.

Llandrinio Community Council had also objected to the proposal on size and scale and wanted a representative to speak on its behalf at the meeting.

A report by principal planning officer Gemma Bufton, had recommended approving the application and giving it conditional consent.

On the day Ms Bufton informed the committee that just “15 minutes” before the committee meeting started, she had received an email which “challenged” parts of the land ownership and also whether the appropriate notices had been served on the property.

Due to this, Ms Bufton believed that a decision on the application could not be made by councillors at the meeting.

She asked councillors to “defer” the application and that it would be back in front of them for a decision once: “all facts have been ironed out.”

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Councillors agreed to the postponement and the scheme has been in limbo ever since.

Mr Singh’s agent The Planning Group Limited said in documents lodged with the Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) that they had agreed to the deferral back in June 2022.

Following the meeting, The Planning Group said that the application form was amended with new notices served and adverts placed in newspapers to allow the proposal to be consulted on again.

The Planning Group say that since then there has been a “constant” chasing up of the case officer asking for updates.

The Planning Groip said: “We wish the appeal to be undertaken by way of a hearing as the case is complex and is due to the LPA (Local Planning Authority – Powys County Council) not determining the application.

“At this stage of proceedings we have no reason to think the LPA will change their stance.”

The Planning Group said that an application for costs against Powys is also being made as they claim “unreasonable behaviour” by county planners during the appeal process.

The Planning Group said: “The proposed development will result in the dilapidated building being sympathetically brought back into use and provide a much needed mix of open market and affordable residential units.

“The inspector is requested to allow the appeal with conditions as appropriate.”

A spokesman for Powys County Council said: “The council confirms that the planning application is subject to a planning appeal to be determined by PEDW.”

The building was last used as a bed and breakfast around 15 years ago, and in 2008 planning permission was given to convert Unity House into a care home that could accommodate 44 people.

This planning permission is still in existence although it was never implemented.