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Plans for extended parking area in Cwmbran refused

Hollybush Barn is on Hollybush Way, Cwmbran (Pic: Google Street Vie)

A HOMEOWNER removed a hedge to create parking space for six cars outside his home without planning permission. 

Mark Williams only applied for planning permission for the change of use of agricultural land in September 2022 after he’d covered it by extending an area of hardstanding in January that year. 

Two years and one month on, Torfaen Borough Council’s planning department has refused the retrospective planning application and said the extended parking area is an “unacceptable visual intrusion” in the open countryside. 

It also said the land around Mr Williams’ converted barn, Hollybush Barn, at Hollybush Way in Ty Coch, Cwmbran is protected as a “green wedge” and a special landscape area in its local development plan. 

Planning officer Justin Jones said: “The application harms the open character of the countryside.” 

His report said aerial photographs showed a hedgerow had been removed to create the area of hardstanding and said: “The creation of the hardstand and removal of the existing hedgerow has resulted in a net loss of ecological features.” 

He acknowledged if the application was approved conditions could have been put in place to secure “ecological mitigation and enhancements”. 

Planning permission for the conversion of the barn was granted in 2003 and it has a large, enclosed garden as well as a grassed ‘paddock’. 

Land included within the residential curtilage was “limited in order to minimise the visual impact of the development and associated domestic paraphernalia” and protect the open rural character of the area with the surrounding grassland used for grazing. 

Mr Jones’ report said the countryside is protected from development and while exceptions are possible none were put forward, or exist, to allow the hardstanding. 

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His report added a skip has also been seen on the land “on several occasions” and it was considered the space available for parking and turning within the “lawful residential curtilage” is sufficient to meet the needs of the house. 

Mr Williams’ application said extending the area allowed for parking space for three additional cars.