Wales

Objections to Powys industrial site built without permission

Penrhos Farm Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Highways officers say the nearby roads are unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles

A controversial rural industrial site built without planning permission should not be approved, officials say.

James Owen, who runs an online business selling outdoor toys, has had previous applications for the warehouse at Penrhos Farm, near Welshpool, rejected.

Powys County Council highways officers say the roads are too narrow for two-way traffic, especially lorries.

Agents for Mr Owen said they hoped people would see the potential economic benefits of the development.

Two applications for the 3,000 sq ft (280 sq m) warehouse, built between Arddleen and Llanymynech, were rejected in 2018, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

But two separate applications have now been submitted seeking retrospective planning permission for different aspects of development at the site.

Council highways officer Simon Crew warned of visibility and access problems from the main A483 via country roads "which prohibit the free flow of two-way car traffic" and lacked passing bays.

Visibility at junctions was also a problem, especially for larger vehicles, he added.

Llandrinio and Arddleen Community Council has also objected, claiming the development should be on an industrial estate.

A statement from agents Roger Parry and Partners admitted that Mr Owen was "now in the process of seeking retrospective planning permission", stressing the economic benefits.

"Mr Owen is the founder and managing director of an online retailer employing some 14 members in the local community with a further four vacancies advertised," it said.

He was "hopeful the locals and council will recognise the potential and benefits they can offer to the local community", the statement added.

Mr Owen has previously said Penrhos was his only "viable" option after failing to find suitable premises or land elsewhere.

Lucy Roberts, a Powys county councillor for the area, indicated she was calling in the application to be considered by the planning committee, rather than council officers with delegated powers.

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