A Newport man’s business has been saved after National Park members voted against planning officers and allowed him to continue using a piece of land as a builder’s yard.
More than 200 residents had signed a petition calling for the authority to allow Tyrone Williams to continue his business at the yard – which was said to have been in use by his and other families for more than 50 years.
Residents had argued that Mr Williams provides a much-needed service for the community and as the yard caused no visual intrusion it should be allowed to stay.
At Pembrokeshire Coast National Park development management committee an officer’s report recommended refusing retrospective permission for the land at Cwarre Yr Angland, Feidr Felin.
Retrospective planning had previously been refused in December 2011, submitted in response to an enforcement notice in 2009, and a further enforcement notice served.
Officers considered the use of the site as a storage yard as “wholly inappropriate”
and said it impacted on the surrounding visual amenity “as well as the landscape value of the National Park and Conservation Area”.
Newport Town Councillor Mike Phillips said that photographs of the yard shown to the committee were “disingenuous” as the bulk of what was shown could not be seen from the road.
The applicant’s agent Rheinallt Evans said that there was “inaccurate information”
in the planning reports and the road was suitable for use in the county council’s view.
“This is going to deny a small contractor his livelihood if we are not careful, it could be the demise of a contractor whose skills are second to none,” he said.
Newport county councillor Paul Harries said that the yard was a good use for an old quarry and agreed “wholeheartedly” that it could not be seen from the road.
Cllr Bob Kilmister said: “Quite clearly we are at risk of harming the economic and social well being of this community. In my view it does not damage the special qualities of the national park.”
Members voted ten to three, with one abstention, in favour of allowing the site to be used as a builder’s yard with the condition that landscaping be established.
Mr Williams said: “I’m delighted with the result after fighting the park for five years. If it wasn’t for Rheinallt, Alun Davies and Vicky Moller it wouldn’t have happened. They’ve put a lot of effort and a lot of work into helping me. And support from Cllr Harries and Mike.”
“I can keep working now, if they had refused it would have meant one of my sons would have been out of work as well,” he added.