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More ‘Hobbit homes’ can be built on farmland near Rhayader

03 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Hobbit Homes – Llwyngwilym

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter

Powys County Council planners have approved a planning application to build seven underground Hobbit homes for tourist to use on land near Llwyngwilym Farm, Rhayader.

The proposals are for one-bedroom units for two people and come in two main types: straight or L shaped, both cylindrically shaped and formed of recycled waste plastic, creating high density polyethylene walls and ceiling.

They would be covered with turf, 12 and 14 metres long with a floor to ceiling height of around five metres.

A sewage treatment plant, parking area and associated works are also included in the scheme.

A similar development for five hobbit homes at the farm was approved last year.

Concerns about the development had been raised by St Harmon community council who objected to the scheme due to land drainage issues.

Senior planning officer, Kate Bowen said:  “The public response has raised concerns over the type and sustainability of the proposed development.

“The development would be an extension to the existing tourist accommodation enterprise currently operating in close proximity to the north of the application site.”

Local Development Plan

Ms Bowen explained that Local Development Plan (LDP) policies support building tourist accommodation in the open countryside.

Ms Bowen said: “Therefore it is not considered that the proposed tourist accommodation would cause unacceptable adverse harm to the existing tourist development.

“The principle of the development is considered to comply with LDP policy.”

Drainage issues in this part of Powys are an important consideration because the nearby River Wye is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and needs to be protected from pollution.

This means that the application needs to be assessed according to the Welsh Government environment body, Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) guidelines for planning applications affecting sensitive rive areas.

Ms Bowen said: “It is considered that this development is unlikely to increase phosphate inputs.”

Due to this Ms Bowen recommended conditional consent.

Before work on the site can take place a sustainable drainage system (Suds) application will need to be approved.

Created by the academic and fantasy novelist, JRR Tolkien, Hobbits are a race resembling very short humans, who live in underground houses in a part of Middle-Earth known as The Shire.

They are the main characters in his fantastic books “There and Back Again” and “Lord of the Rings” which have been turned into blockbuster films.

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