Neolithic tomb appeal dismissed over traffic concerns
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
An appeal against the refusal to give planning permission to a Neolithic-style tomb near Llanidloes, has been thrown out.
A Welsh Government planning inspector dismissed the appeal made by Dr Kevin Blockley, of Cambrian Archaeological Projects.
The tomb structure would have had space for up to 500 pottery urns holding cremated remains at the Out of Eden Stone Age Farm at New Chapel.
Back in December 2020, Powys County Council had rejected the plans back as they failed to demonstrate a safe means of access.
Dr Blockley had lodged his appeal in February.
Planning inspector, Richard Duggan explained in his report that the main issue is the impact of the development on highway safety.
During a visit to the site, Mr Duggan saw that the U2776 is a narrow single lane with no formal passing spaces along its length up to the appeal site.
Mr Duggan said: “I encountered three separate vehicles on my way from Newchapel Church up to the appeal site and was forced to reverse a long way to enable vehicles to pass each other.”
“I also saw a relatively high number of vehicles using the junction adjacent to Newchapel Church travelling in all directions, but especially towards and from Woodland View caravan site.”
He added that as part of the appeal, no Traffic Impact Report had been submitted to provide details including how many vehicle “movements” would be expected with each internment and how many a year.
Dr Blockley had included summaries of discussions for similar sites – which said that around three internments could be expected a year and this in turn would generating one or two car movements each.
However, these summaries did not include actual planning applications or consents for Mr Duggan to analyse.
Mr Duggan said: “Whilst there will be similarities between such facilities, there will inevitably be significant differences in the local context, including the ability of the local highway network to cope with the vehicular movements generated and the popularity and particular use of such facilities throughout the year.
“I also share the council’s concerns that the appellant’s figures do not take into account the possibility of larger groups of mourners attending an individual interment as this cannot be controlled by planning condition or the appellant.
“Having considered all other matters raised by the appellant, including the many letters of support for the proposed development, I conclude that it would be detrimental to highway safety and the appeal should be dismissed.”
The tomb structure would have been based on Neolithic passage tombs of Barclodiaid y Gawres and Bryn Celli Ddu which are on the isle of Ynys Môn.
On the south-east side of the tomb there would have been a gap in the ditch and an entrance into the stone-lined chambers each with timber shelving where replica Neolithic pottery vessels holding people’s ashes would have been placed.