Company that wants to store dead animals near historic Salem chapel wins appeal
Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter
A farm waste collection business has won its planning appeal after the national park refused it permission to store dead animals near the setting for one of Wales’ most famous paintings.
Gaerwen-based Cymru Lȃn Cyf had submitted plans for a 13.5 x 9 metre building that would mainly be used to store dead animals from nearby farms on land known as kennels at Pentre Gwynfryn near Llanbedr.
But December saw the Snowdonia National Park’s Planning Committee follow the advice of officers and refuse the proposals amid concerns over the impact on nearby Capel Salem.
The Grade-II listed chapel was the setting of Vosper’s famous 1908 painting depicting Siân Owen and other chapel-goers, including the famous devil in the shawl.
There had been 171 letters of objection sent to the park, including that of Llanbedr Community Council which claimed that the proposals were not in keeping with plans previously approved in 2004 for a small incinerator to prepare animals that had fallen as food for the hunting dogs that were kept on the site.
Local councillors also claimed that the new plans were “totally different in character, size and use” and possessing “an industrial character on a much larger scale than the current private use”.
But the Anglesey-based company, having launched an appeal to the planning inspectorate, reiterated there was a need for such a facility and argued that the alternative was for owners to transport their own animals to Gaerwen or Llandrindod Wells, some 80 miles away.
Cymru Lȃn’s appeal documents also stated that the proposals would represent a 16% reduction in operating floor space compared to the buildings proposed to be demolished, resulting in ecological gain, more landscaping, and a voluntary traffic limit set by condition.
Their submission noted: “Since the suspension of the fallen stock operation at the site at the end of 2018, the wider area has been without a local facility for the disposal of fallen stock.
“Obviously, as an agricultural area, such a facility is a necessity.”
Local heritage group, Cyfeillion Cwm Nantcol, had expressed disappointment after news spread of the appeal, describing it as “one of the most objected-to applications in the history of the National Park.”
But after being asked to intervene, planning inspector PJ Davies has fallen on the side of the applicants after noting “limited evidence to suggest that the proposal would be unacceptable.”
Her report, published this week, added: “The appeal site is close to Capel Salem and an attached caretaker’s cottage which is a Grade-II listed building. Nonetheless, the two sites have their own distinct setting and do not correlate in any shared views or vistas.
“In addition, the site already has an established commercial use, the nature of which would not be fundamentally changed by the proposal.
“In these circumstances, there would be no adverse effects on the setting of the listed building which would be preserved.
“The proposal thus complies with LDP Strategic Policy Ff which seeks to conserve and enhance the historic landscape, heritage assets and cultural heritage of Snowdonia National Park.”
The Snowdonia National Park Authority, Cymru Lȃn Cyf and Cyfeillion Cwm Nantcol have all been approached to comment.