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Wrexham Council approves retrospective goat hut plan

A Glyn Ceiriog goat's hut is the subject of a retrospective planning application (source: Wrexham Council planning documents)

A GOAT hut on the outskirts of a Wrexham village can stay after councillors approved a retrospective planning application.

The structure on land off Church Hill in Glyn Ceiriog was considered by the authority’s planning committee after objections about it were raised with the council.

These objections ranged from a lack of information provided by the applicants about what the site is being used for to concerns about traffic increase because of a new track and subsidence.

But it was recommended for approval with the council’s planning officer Matthew Phillips outlining the proposals, saying it was “not unreasonable to have some storage on site” and described the goat shelter as a “fairly small structure”.

He said many of the concerns could be dealt with by imposing conditions.

Ward member, Glyn Ceiriog Cllr Trevor Bates, spoke against the application having had correspondence from residents in the area who were concerned about the track element.

He said: “The field was previously owned by an eccentric old lady who passed away a few years back.

“She owned several houses and quite a few isolated small fields. One by one these plots are coming to auction and each field seems to exceed the agricultural value of the land.

“Prospective purchasers may see this as an opportunity for a long-term investment and one day they’ll be in their perfect home with an area of land to keep animals and enjoy leisure activities – I don’t have any problem with that as long as they keep to the rules.

“Keeping a few goats for instance is certainly not a viable agricultural enterprise. The biggest impact on the site seems to me the large area of the track and large fence that has been put up.”

Cllr Bates added that residents worried about it changing the character of the area and the lack of a supporting statement submitted with the plans.

He said there had also been reports of quad bikes and motorbikes being used on the field, and people were worried about future developments at the site.

“The applicant seems to be withholding information about his or her intentions and I think that is what is concerning locals that they do not know what the plan for the site is”, Cllr Bates added.

Chirk North Cllr Frank Hemmings (Lab) suggested being happy to move with the conditions, but Pant Cllr Stella Matthews (Lab) raised concerns about the motorbike comments made by Cllr Bates.

“I know from the area I live that has been a problem for a considerable number of years”, she said.

“Is there any ruling we can put on that?”

Mr Phillips said there was nothing to suggest there were other uses of the site at the moment, but if there are any breaches of planning control they can be dealt with separately.

Garden Village Cllr Andy Williams (ind) was also keen to see conditions against motorcycle use to “nip it in the bud now”.

But earlier Mr Phillips said conditions could be placed to ensure the building can only be used for agricultural purposes, and there is no suggestion it is being used for anything else at the moment.

He said permission could not be refused for reasons that it “may evolve into something else”, and that if it did, any development would have to go through planning process and be considered on its own merits at the time.

Concerns about leisure use would be covered by a condition that it is only to be used for agricultural use – anything else would be a breach of conditions and could lead to enforcement action.

Councillors voted in favour of granting retrospective permission.