PLANS for a new community picnic spot were given the go-ahead at a Denbighshire planning committee meeting.
Aberwheeler Community Council was granted permission for the picnic area with benches and parking at a field opposite Porth y Waen – with the possibility of a community centre on the site in future.
As part of the plans for the ‘amenity land’, six native Denbigh Plum trees will be planted to the southeast corner along with hedging.
The field is listed as agricultural land, but councillors delayed a decision on the use of the county council-owned field last month, opting instead for a site visit.
Planning officers advised the committee to turn down the application because the land is listed for agricultural use, but after visiting the field, councillors said the community benefits outweighed the reason to decline.
The community council is known to also have plans for a community centre on the spot in future, subject to securing funding.
Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Chris Evans spoke in favour of the application, despite admitting he had safety concerns about the field’s entrance.
“The entrance to the park is treacherous,” he said.
“It is a 30-mph zone, but the vehicles still speed up that hill. I just feel the land hasn’t been farmed for five years, and we are talking about something for the community.”
He added: “It is going to be a green-spaced area, and I think the last few years have shown us that we need things like that in the community.”
Cllr Ellie Chard said, “It is a very good community facility, especially with the wellbeing of everybody these days.”
Cllr Merfyn Parry proposed the committee backed the plans and said, “We are going to make something good here for the community.”
Cllr Peter Scott seconded the proposal, and the committee voted unanimously in favour of the plans.
The decision will now be ratified at a future planning committee meeting, following councillors voting against officers’ advice.
Planning officers will, though, draft a list of conditions to be agreed by the committee.
The decision follows several residents writing to the council objecting to the plans.
Some residents claimed the plans were unclear in terms of what was proposed, and others argued the road is narrow and dangerous, fearing hedgerow could also be lost.