PLANNING committee members will go to see for themselves a self-built eco home belonging to a young family which faces being torn down if retrospective permission is not approved.
Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning and rights of way committee met this morning to discuss retrospective planning permission for the controversial one bedroom roundhouse, Pwll Broga, situated near Glandwr.
The council’s director of development is recommending that permission be refused, stating that the roundhouse is: “An unjustified development in the countryside contrary to the rural restraint strategy of the Local Development Plan.”
Members voted this morning to visit the site before making a decision.
Megan Williams and her partner Charlie Hague initially built the roundhouse without planning permission. In 2012 the council ordered that it be demolished. A subsequent appeal was turned down by the planning inspector last summer.
The couple have now applied for retrospective planning permission under the Welsh Government One Planet Development (OPD) initiative.
OPD’s are low impact developments that either enhance or, through low impact, do not diminish environmental quality. However applicants have to fulfil stringent criteria and submit extremely detailed paperwork to qualify for OPD.
The director of development says the roundhouse does not qualify for OPD status, due in part to a lack of detailed paperwork.
“The proposal fails to demonstrate that it constitutes an exception [to the rural restraint strategy] in terms of the One Planet Development initiative,” he writes.
“Despite its relatively low visual impact it erodes the rural character of its surroundings and represents an unsustainable form of development in terms of distance from day to day facilities.”
In his report he concludes that: “Anyone contemplating an OPD will be aware that, in order to satisfy Welsh Government planning policy and guidelines, a considerable volume of documentation and data recording is necessary.
“The level of information provided falls significantly short of the standard required to meet the essential characteristics of an OPD.”
Since 2012 the one bedroom roundhouse has garnered considerable support from round the world receiving messages of encouragement coming from Canada, Brazil, Europe and America.