Home » Plans for ‘bungalow’ shed approved despite objection from community council
Pembrokeshire Politics West Wales

Plans for ‘bungalow’ shed approved despite objection from community council

Dr Jessica Spate sought permission to build an agricultural storage building at Parc y Floodgate, Velindre, north Pembrokeshire (Pic: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park webcast)

AN APPLICATION to build a “bungalow” agricultural storage building has been given the go-ahead by national park planners despite an impassioned plea to turn it down by the local community council.

At the September 6 Pembrokeshire Coast National Park development management committee, Dr Jessica Spate sought permission to build an agricultural building to store land management equipment, associated consumables and crops at Parc y Floodgate, Velindre, north Pembrokeshire.

It would replace a bus currently used for the purpose.

The application, which was recommended for approval, had been brought to the committee following an objection by local community council Eglwyswrw.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr Spate told members the “simple shed” would provide a secure storage facility for equipment on the site, being developed as an organic fruit and nut orchard.

Members heard that – to date – hundreds of fruit and nut trees and shrubs had been planted on site, and that small but saleable amounts of soft fruit within the next year or two and significant top fruit crops within another three to five years, with nut production in later years.

It is hoped that almond and walnut production will be viable in the future.

The applicants have said that they both work full time and are not reliant on the commercial success of the agricultural business in order for the planned orchard development and proposed projects to continue.

“We’ve no interest in a One Planet Development, or anything like that,” Dr Spate said, adding: “It’s just a shed.”

Representing the community council’s concerns, Cllr Sian Jones said the shed “looks more like a bungalow,” with patio doors and two windows.

“As I am sure you are all aware , as we see it everywhere across our rural landscape parcels of land being sold, and like mushrooms a building pops up, some of these buildings start with good intentions, but are designed to be a back-up plan also, and our concern as a community council that this building might be turned into residential or an Air B&B, with the lovely patio doors, the two very large windows looking down the beautiful valley below.

“In no time at all our beloved Pembrokeshire national parks will be urbanised, and with all the good intentions of the national parks putting rules in place; you only have one enforcement officer to cover the north of the county, and most probably this person has a heavy workload already.

“I can see there is support for this building, because they have respect for the dedicated hard work of the applicant. Don’t we all in the rural countryside work hard? Is it justification to grant planning permission because a person works hard?

“How many planning applications that have come in front of Pembrokeshire national parks that had a ‘no’? They are hardworking people, but it was a ‘no’.”

Cllr Jones said the council’s second concern was highway safety, saying the applicant is hoping to sell from the field gate, which was later denied by the applicant.

“I stress field gate, this will now increase traffic, with the potential of accidents,” she said, adding there was a history of road traffic accidents in the vicinity, some of them ending tragically.

“November 30, 2002, Carwyn Davies and Robina Ellis Grufydd. Carwyn a dear friend of mine, known Robina since I was a child; she was English, learnt Welsh, spoke it fluently.

“November 30, 2002, they never returned home to their families, both died at the scene, on Felindre hill, actually nearly at the spot of the proposed building.

“Another occasion a JCB was parked on the verge, if I remember correctly the other side of the hedge of the proposed building, on the main roadside, a car ended up hitting it, he didn’t return to his family, his life ended on Felindre hill.

“A people carrier full of adults and children, they landed well in the field, most probably on the roof of where this proposed building would be, they were all ok, taken to hospital.

“Our clerk’s son landed at the bottom of this hill, lucky to be alive.”

Cllr Jones finished by saying: “We are all privileged to live in this county, some of us born and bred and remained, some of us fell in love with Pembrokeshire and adopted it as home.

“But we all have a responsibility to keep it beautiful, and respect our streams and rivers, and to keep fields as fields without mushrooms popping up and we become an urban jungle so many have escaped from to get a good life.”

Moving the application be approved, committee member Dr Rosetta Plummer said a report for members had addressed the “very legitimate concerns” raised by the community council.