A community council, accused of unlawful actions over its discussion of a planning application, “did everything by the book,” a planning committee heard.

An application, by Teresa Bowen, to demolish and replace an old bungalow at Ringstone, Broad Haven, was conditionally approved at Wednesday’s, February 1, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Development Management Committee, having previously been recommended for approval.

She sought permission “to provide a proper home for my family,” adding: “I believe it will both enhance the locality and have no detrimental impact.”

The Havens Community Council previously supported the application, but claims of an unlawful consultation were made by an objector.

A report for national park planners stated: “An objector has suggested that the Havens Community Council response was out of time with no formal extension of time being granted before expiry of the statutory 21-day consultation time limit.

“He further suggests that the Havens Community Council meeting was not transparent or objective and suggests that the consultation response is accordingly unlawful.”

At the meeting, Havens Community Council Clerk Gareth Harvard shared a lengthy chronology of the community council’s discussions and correspondence over the application, pointing out that equal opportunities were given to all interested parties.

He finished by saying: “In conclusion, based upon the information made available to it, The Havens Community Council strongly contends that it has diligently fulfilled its obligations as a statutory consultee with regard to this application, and any failures in the planning process subsequently found to apply fall outside of the scope of this community council.”

No legal challenge has been taken against the decision of the council, the meeting heard, adding that officers do not accept the objector’s suggestions that the consultation response from council should not be taken into account.

The application was supported by local resident Dr Mary O’Reigan, speaking on behalf of fellow neighbours: “We feel there will be some short-term disturbance, but we think it is worthwhile; we value our neighbour very much. Within our little hamlet there is a great deal of support.”

Committee member, and local county councillor, Peter Morgan, who seconded a move to approve the application, said of the community council’s handling of the application: “Everything was done properly and above board, and by the book.”


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