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Veteran allowed to continue living in bungalow after tenancy put at risk by red tape

16 Aug 2023 3 minute read
An overhead image of Bryn Y Fro at Newchurch, Devauden. Picture: Google

Twm OwenLocal Democracy Reporter

A retired veteran will be allowed to remain in the bungalow he has lived in for more than 10 years after his tenancy was put at risk due to red tape.

Duncan Powell has lived at his rented home, Bryn y Fro at Newchurch, Devauden, since September 2012 – but his right to remain there was threatened due to the discovery of a planning condition dating back 31 years.

That stipulated the bungalow could only be occupied by an agricultural or forestry worker, their dependents, or the widow or widower of any such worker.

The 1992 condition put the retired armed forces veteran’s tenancy at risk as he has never worked in forestry or agriculture.

As a result Mr Powell’s landlords, sisters E Nash and L M Davies of Chepstow, had to ask Monmouthshire County Council to grant a certificate stating the use of the bungalow is lawful.

Mrs Nash, Mr Powell and the sisters’ uncle, who rents related farmland, all provided statutory declarations in relation to the tenancy agreements.

Application

As well as supplying a copy of the agreement with Mr Powell, showing it dated back to September 2012, the sisters also outlined how the property, built by their late father, had been let on a short term basis for six months from February 2012 following his death in October 2011.

The application, submitted by estate agents David James on behalf of the sisters, said the certificate should be granted as, although the condition restricting occupation had been breached, the breach has been continous for more than 10 years and is therefore exempt from any enforcement action.

Monmouthshire County Council planners accepted the property has been let to Mr Powell for more than 10 years and issued the certificate of lawfulness.

The council would have had to have evidence contradicting or undermining the applicants’ “unambigious” evidence to challenge their position.

In February this year the council said it would continue to defend planning conditions dating back decades after a decision to refuse to issue a certificate of lawfulness was defeated in part due to a legal case brought by former US president Donald Trump.

The council had, in 2021, told Chepstow woman Angela Corner it wouldn’t issue her such a certificate for a bungalow named Grove View on Bully Hole Road in Shirenewton, due to a 1966 planning condition restricting its occupation to forestry or agricultural workers.


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Frank
Frank
10 months ago

Twm Owen, author of this report. With a good Welsh name like “Twm” I’d have thought that he would have referred to the village by its proper and correct name of “Y Dyfawden” and not the ridiculous, obviously Anglicised, name that I have never heard of.

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