Holiday cottages in Carmarthenshire approved – despite concerns visitors’ parties will annoy neighbours
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
Plans for holiday cottages and glamping pods in a Carmarthenshire village have been given the go-ahead despite concerns about guests having parties and annoying neighbours.
The council’s planning committee approved the application in Bronwydd by just one vote.
The site, opposite the Bronwydd Arms railway station, has two empty semi-detached cottages which will be knocked down and replaced with two similar-looking four-bedroom ones.
There will be a glamping pod in the front garden and two in the rear – two of them converted railway carriages.
Councillors heard that the applicant was a member of the Gwili Railway Preservation Society, which supports the steam railway at Bronwydd, and that he would meet guests on departure and arrival and set out conditions relating to their stay.
A planning officer said five houses surrounded the cottages and garden, and that the nearest house was 22m away from the glamping pods and 25m from the cottages at its closest point.
The scheme prompted letters from five objectors, one of whom – Alwen Owen – addressed the committee to say she had a problem with the glamping pods, not the cottages.
Mrs Owen said 20 to 25 people could be staying on site at any one time and that groups could potentially include stag and hen parties.
She claimed nobody would manage the site on a daily basis.
“It’s not a development in an open field far from anywhere, but rather the development of a camping ground in the middle of a residential area,” she said.
Cllr Kevin Madge was one of several councillors who sympathised with her concerns.
“There will be anti-social behaviour, heavy drinking goes on, and nobody is going to be there,” he said.
Cllr Deryk Cundy said it would be “a nightmare” and that he didn’t think the pods would look right in the proposed location.
But Cllr Sue Allen said she liked the look of the pods, especially the converted railway carriages. She wondered, however, if a planning condition preventing parties could be imposed.
She went on to propose the committee accepted the planning department’s recommendation of approval.
The committee heard that the applicant envisaged couples and families staying at the site, and that the pods were not big enough for more than two people.
The application was approved by eight votes to seven, with one of the conditions that additional planting will have to be done to further screen the pods and cottages from neighbouring properties.
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