National park planners narrowly backed a scheme to build two large houses at a Pembrokeshire seaside village site, despite the objections of the local community council.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planners, meeting in January, were recommended to approve the scheme, submitted by an unnamed applicant through Bristol-based agent Pegasus Planning Group Ltd, for two four-bedroom detached dwellings at “a particularly large plot” at Mountain Ash Cottage, Sandy Hill Road, Saundersfoot.

At that meeting, members instead agreed to a site visit, held in mid February, with two new recommended conditions relating to the submission of a Construction Management Plan and removal of permitted development rights added to the application before the March planning meeting.

The scheme, which includes an affordable housing contribution of £140,360, was again recommended for approval.

The application had been reported to the Development Management Committee at committee chair Dr Madeleine Havard’s request, as Saundersfoot Community Council objected to the application, contrary to an officer recommendation for approval.

The site currently has planning permission for two new dwellings, with the demolition of a single property, which expires in November; the new scheme proposing to retain that property, adding two additional dwellings.

Saundersfoot Community Council objected to the plans, saying the scheme is potentially overpowering to neighbouring properties, and would cause major over-development of the area.

Objector, and neighbour, Andrew Milne – who spoke at both the January and March meetings – raised concerns about the designs and scale of the new proposal and visual impact it would have on his property, describing the original ‘fall-back’ scheme  – which he didn’t object to – as “more sensitive”.

Chris Cox, on behalf of the applicants, said the scheme would offer a significantly higher affordable housing contribution over the “fall-back’ position, up from £38,000, adding that the applicant had responded positively with amended plans after previous concerns raised.

A report for committee members said: “The proposed development is considered acceptable in terms of the principle of the proposed new dwellings and will not have a detrimental impact on the character of the surrounding area or the residential amenity of any neighbouring properties in accordance with the policies of the Local Development Plan.”

At the meeting many members raised concerns they were “struggling” with the scheme, due to its location and size.

The application was passed by eight votes to six, with one abstention.