Objections over plans for more Hobbit holes in Powys
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Objections have been lodged by a community council against plans for more hobbit home style holiday units to be built at a farm near Rhayader.
Powys County Council has received a planning application by the Powell family to build seven underground hobbit homes for tourist to use on land near Llwyngwilym Farm Rhayader.
The application includes installing a sewage treatment plant, parking area and associated works
Earlier this year the family received planning permission to build five underground hobbit homes – a scheme that had been scaled down from 11 units. The new plans for seven hobbit houses would be in addition to those five.
The new proposals are for one-bedroom hobbit-style 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.
The application was discussed by St Harmon community council at a meeting earlier this month.
St Harmon council clerk, Jane Johnston said: “Members objected to this application regarding drainage issues.
“It is not clear from the application if a second water treatment plant is being installed as one water treatment plant would exceed the acceptable limit for an additional seven units.
“There was also concern expressed that the inclusion of dining rooms may enable the units to become two bedroomed. ”
Agent, Paul Watson of Halls Holdings Ltd explained the plans in a planning, design and access statement.
Mr Watson said: “Hobbit homes are modestly sized and placed into the ground so only a small proportion is visible externally, being the entrance door plus two windows.
“Due to the sloping nature of the site, a space will be excavated for installation of the units and then soil will be back-filled around, and over the surface so that when viewed from a distance the viewer will only see three modest scale windows set within a grassy slope.”
Mr Watson doesn’t believe that the drainage from the site would have an effect on the River Wye SAC (Special Area of Conservation) and as the site is graded as poor quality agricultural land – its loss should not be “resisted.”
Mr Watson said: “The proposal complements the existing successful tourism development it is also part of farm diversification activities at Llwyngwilym Farm.
“The LDP (Local Development Plan) is supportive of tourism development as part of farm diversification.”
“The proposal has an existing access from the B4518 St Harmon Road which is safe and meets all highways access requirements.”
Powys planners are expected to decide the application by December 28.
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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