Caravan site owner will 'fight council to the end' over plans

Last week councillors refused planning permission for Brook House Farm, Crew Green, despite the site running for the last three years and helping local employment.

At a meeting of the Powys County Council planning committee last week part-retrospective plans were refused for five caravan pitches, five camping pods, 10 bell tents and 10 tents together with the building of a toilet block, shop with cafe, use of land for the storage of five caravans and the formation of a new vehicle access.

Councillors agreed to refuse the plans on the planning officer’s recommendation that there was inadequate visibility for the proposed entrance; the site partially lies within a designated flood plain of the River Severn; and that an ecological survey found two badger setts within a buffer zone of 30 metres of the site.

Campsite owner Julia Owen opposed the objection and said that the planning refusal “came out of the blue” after she had been running the site for the last three years.

She said: “I am fuming at the planning decision made today as I would question each of these comments and plan to appeal the planning refusal.

“I have been running the site for the last three years after getting permission from the council through the caravan and camping club. It’s not like we have just opened and we already have the facilities up and running.

“I don’t understand why they are trying to stop this development. What they have said is untrue and has left me fuming with the outcome. Last summer I sent hundreds of our visitors to Powis Castle and the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway.”

Mrs Owen said that she employs six seasonal staff and another three at The Fir Tree Inn could all lose their jobs if plans are refused.

She added: “If we close the pub across the road said they would also have to close due to the loss of trade they would suffer from our visitors over the summer months.

“We already have the shop which is open from Easter to September and have some lovely local residents who come down to have a drink or buy the locally made produce.

“It is ridiculous what the council is putting me through, this is a small quaint campsite which is just beautiful, we don’t cause traffic jams.”

Mrs Owen wanted to represent herself at the planning committee meeting to put her case forward, but was refused under council protocol.

Powys Planning Officer, Angharad Richards, said that the highway authority objected to plans due to there not being enough “visibility spray” from the site onto the B4393 between Welshpool and Shrewsbury.

Bausley Community Council also raised concerns to the planning officer about the number of caravans exceeding the allowance; access and the flood risk area which they claimed some tents had been positioned on.

Powys County Council’s ecologist suggested a 30-metre buffer zone between the campsite and any badger settlement and the council drainage department also required work to be carried out.

There were 14 representations sent to the council in support of the applications and two objections.

County councillors voted in favour of the planning officer’s recommendation of refusal.