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Permission granted for ‘intrusive’ floodlights

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THE ACTIONS of Cefneithin RFC in carrying out works to land owned by the club and erecting floodlights were condemned by all sides at a meeting of the Planning Committee on Thursday, March 26.
However, and despite the committee’s considerable disquiet over the way in which the rugby club had gone about the development, the committee voted by a large majority to grant retrospective planning permission.
Neighbouring property owner Cenydd Morgan addressed the committee and repeatedly voiced concern that the committee were not being given the whole picture. He pointed out that on the day of a site inspection in February, the rugby club had not turned on all the lights over the training pitch. In addition, he pointed out that a number of photographs highlighting residents’ parking problems had been omitted.
Most strikingly, Mr Morgan said that a photograph showing a Cefneithin RFC player relieving himself near the wire boundary fence had not been before the Planning Committee as it was deemed ‘lewd’; a determination that rather begs the question about the standard of the player concerned’s own conduct and the sensitivity of Planning Committee members.
A significant concern Mr Morgan expressed was the past use of the land by Llanelli Rural District Council and a waste tip, something which was not before the committee and which had been elided by the planning officer concerned. Mr Morgan had evidence relating to the land’s previous use for that purpose and referred to the lack of assessment before the land was adopted for training use.
Responding for the club, Clive Scourfield chose to ignore the complaints of noise and light pollution and whether or not the Club had acted in a high-handed and arrogant way, as suggested subsequently by Cllr Emlyn Dole. Mr Scourfield preferred to speak about the club’s heritage, and in this regard he was well backed up by Cllr Terry Davies.
Cllr Davies suggested that there were no relevant issues disclosed worthy of denying planning permission. He did, however, go on to mention that the gates accessing the field had been locked on the night of the visit and the issue of access via the club’s gates should be resolved when the training ground was in use.
The supportive Cllr Davies noted, however, that Cefneithin RFC had not even had the courtesy of discussing its plans with its neighbours, which he described as ‘a great disappointment’.
The committee divided and backed the application for retrospective planning permission by 11 votes to 4 with 1 abstention.