COMMITTEE:

    PLANNING COMMITTEE

DATE:

    29 MARCH 2012

REPORT OF:

    HEAD OF PLANNING

INDEX - AREA EAST

REF

APPLICATIONS RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL

PAGE NOS

E/22489

    Residential development comprising 79 no mixed dwellings and associated infrastructure (UDP allocation GR3/49 refers) at land adjacent to Pantyblodau (No 97), off Waterloo Road, Penygroes, Llanelli, Carms SA14 7PN

5-17

E/24436

    Conversion and refurbishment of Grade 2 Listed Provisions Market - proposed development of 13 new residential units including 4 no. houses and 9 no. flats at the Old Provisions Market, North Bank/Carmarthen Street, Llandeilo, Carms, SA19 6AP

18-35

E/25041

    Proposed erection of class A1 retail foodstore, service yard, customer car park, new access road, petrol filling station and associated development at land west of Beechwood Industrial Estate, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, SA19 7HA

36-72

E/25678

    Proposed development of land within development limits to 5 plots at 10 Gelly Road, Llandybie, Ammanford, SA18 3YL

73-80

REF

APPLICATIONS RECOMMENDED FOR REFUSAL

PAGE NOS

E/24378

    Outline planning application for a 47,500 sq.ft retail foodstore development (together with a petrol filling station and retail kiosk) with associated highway works, car and cycle parking, services and landscaping at land at Foundry Road, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, SA18 2LS

82-99

E/25016

    Agricultural dwelling & garage at Cefn Telych, Pumpsaint, Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire, SA19 8BX

100-106

APPLICATIONS RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL

Application No

E/22489

Application Type

Full Planning

Proposal &
Location

RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT COMPRISING 79 NO MIXED DWELLINGS AND ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE (UDP ALLOCATION GR3/49 REFERS) AT LAND ADJACENT TO PANTYBLODAU (No 97), OFF WATERLOO ROAD, PENYGROES, LLANELLI, CARMS SA14 7PN

Applicant(s)

COMPTON DEVELOPMENTS LTD - MR ROGER PENBERTHY

Agent

 

Case Officer

Andrew Francis

Electoral Ward

Penygroes

Date of validation

15/02/2010

CONSULTATIONS

This planning permission is dependent upon the developer, prior to the commencement of development, entering into a Section 106 Agreement with Carmarthenshire County Council.

Head of Transport – Recommends the imposition of conditions and requests a commuted sum to impose traffic calming measures to mitigate the development.

Llandybie Community Council – Object to the proposal for the following reasons:

The number of dwellings to be erected on the site is excessive
The development of terraced houses is not acceptable as shown on the submitted drawings as existing residential properties in the surrounding area are detached or semi detached.
The proposed access onto Waterloo Road does not allow for sufficient visibility splays for the speed of traffic as the site of the proposed access junction for the development and also taking into account the proximity of other road junctions.
Existing services such as schools and surgeries are at full capacity, especially taking into account existing planning permissions granted.
The capacity of the existing foul drainage system in the area is possibly at capacity and should not be overloaded.

Local Member - County Councillor S E Thomas has not commented to date.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water – The UDP has allocated the land for 40 dwellings. Any dwellings in excess of 40 will likely overload the public sewerage system and therefore object. Alternatively a condition can be imposed stating that no beneficial occupation of the 41st dwelling should occur until such time as improvements to the offsite public sewerage system is completed and operational.

Environment Agency – Advises that foul drainage would enter the Burry Inlet and may affect the Carmarthen Bay SAC. Also recommends the imposition of a condition and offers advice regarding SUDS and pollution control measures.

Neighbours/Public – The application was advertised by means of a Site Notice. Two letters of objection have been received as a result. The points of objection are summarised as follows:

The privacy and value of objectors land will be greatly affected. The current rural nature will be lost.
The number of houses will greatly increase traffic and will jeopardise road safety and not benefit the area in any way. The visibility splays are not adequate and parking on the main road exacerbates the problem.
Ecological damage would occur as a Barn Owl, a Tawny Owl a Red Kite nest near the site and ducks and geese also use the site, not to mention nocturnal creatures.

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

The following previous application(s) has/have been received on the application site:

GW/02150 Farm outbuilding and store

GW/01450 Extension to farmhouse.

GW/01363 Agricultural outbuilding

THE SITE

The application site consists of a largely vacant area of land situated to the west of Waterloo Road, Penygroes. The site measures approximately 2.7 Hectares and slopes downwards from the north to south, with the steepest gradients in the north-west corner of the site.

The land is currently associated with the existing farmhouse known as Pantyblodau Farm. The land has some low level overgrowth over most of its extent, though there is denser hedgerows, trees and other growth along the sites northern, western and eastern boundaries. On the land there are remnants of the previous farming use with outbuildings still present, along with engineered ditches.

There is an existing drainage ditch at the southern edge of the application site. This marks the boundary of this proposal and the land to the south that the applicant controls, where the intention is to utilise this land for a habitat mitigation scheme.

Access to the plot would be situated to the south of 95 Waterloo Road, whilst the existing farmhouse is to be retained.

THE PROPOSAL

The applicant seeks Full Planning Permission for the erection of 79 residential dwellings along with all associated works on the above described site.

Access to the site would be off Waterloo Road via a new 5.5 metre wide site road, with 2 metre pavements. The main site road extends some 125 metres before arcing round to the south to the southern edge of the site. A further spur road extends to the south off the main site road for some 110 metres.

The application proposes a mixture of dwellings, with 47 two bedroom units, 28 three bedroom units and 4 four bedroom units proposed. All units are two storeys in height.

HOUSE TYPES

Ten different house types are proposed. The smallest is the Newton; with a floor area of 58 sq m. Twenty three of these types are proposed. This unit can be semi detached or terraced and provide a kitchen, WC living and dining area on the ground floor with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. Externally, the finish is to be face brick at ground floor level with render above. Small porches are proposed above the front doors. Twenty three of this house type is proposed.

The Norton is the second two bedroom unit proposed and provides a kitchen/dining area, living room and WC on the ground floor with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. On the front elevation, relief is provides by a small pitch roof porch, but which on some dwellings is paired, with a taller roof to cover the span. These are also semi detached or in terraces. Twenty four of this house type is proposed.

The Brynmill is the smallest 3 bed dwelling proposed. This provides a living room, dining room, kitchen, utility and WC on the ground floor with 3 bedrooms (one en-suite) and a bathroom on the first floor. Three of this house type is proposed.

The Bovehill provides an integral garage, WC, kitchen, dining area and living room on the ground floor, with three bedrooms (one en-suite) and a bathroom on the first floor. Externally, the semi detached dwellings have a large gable frontage which protrudes off the front elevation. Six of this house type is proposed.

The Mewslade provides an integral garage with a lining room, dining room, kitchen, utility room and WC on the ground floor with three bedrooms (one en-suite) and a bathroom on the first floor. Externally, the semi detached dwellings are joined by the single storey garage link. Eight of this house type is proposed.

The Redcliff provides a large living/dining area, kitchen, utility, WC and integral garage on the ground floor, with 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. As with the Mewslade, the dwellings are linked by the single storey garage part of the dwelling. Seven of this house type is proposed.

The Lunnon provides a living room dining room, kitchen, utility room, WC and large hallway on the ground floor with 3 bedrooms (one en-suite) and a bathroom on the first floor. Externally, the dwelling has a gable frontage. Four of this house type is proposed.

The Kingsland is the smallest 4 bedroom property proposed. Internally on the ground floor it proposes a living room, dining room, kitchen, utility room and WC, whilst 4 bedrooms (one en-suite) and a bathroom are proposed on the first floor. Externally, this another gable fronted dwelling. One of this house type is proposed.

The Ashleigh provides a large living room, dining room, kitchen, utility room and WC on the ground floor, with 4 bedrooms (one en-suite) and a bathroom on the first floor. One of this house type is proposed.

The Caswell provides an integral garage, living room, dining room kitchen area, utility area and WC on the ground floor with 4 bedrooms (2 en-suite) and a bathroom on the first floor. Two of this house type is proposed. Externally this has a gable projection along with a two storey bay window feature.

Six detached garages are also proposed to serve the larger dwellings. These measure 6 metres in length by 4 metres in width and are finished to match the proposed dwellings.

Throughout the site, a mixture of dwellings is proposed, even in the same terrace of dwellings. This helps to provide visual relief and to add interest in the street scene. All dwellings are to be finished with the same small range of materials, with white uPVC doors and windows, render and face brick elevations with a mix of two different darker and lighter coloured face bricks, and concrete interlocking roof tiles.

In terms of site area, it measures approximately 2.7 Hectares (6.7 acres). The site is allocated for approximately 40 dwellings in the UDP. However, if that were to be applies, the site would be lacking in density and would not make efficient use of the land. The submitted application proposes a development density of 29 dwellings per hectare, or 11.8 per acre, which is considered to be a reasonable density in this area and contributes to a far more efficient use of land.

PLANNING POLICY

For the purposes of Section 38 of the Planning and Compensation Act (2004), the relevant Development Plan that the application is to be determined by is the Carmarthenshire UDP. The relevant policies contained within this plan are GDC2, GDC8, GDC9, GDC11, GDC12, T3, GDC19, GDC20, GDC33, H1, H4, EN1, EN3, EN5, EN6 and EN9.

The general development policies consider the design of the proposal, and its potential visual impact upon the surrounding area, require that the density and plot ratio of the development is acceptable, that the development is served appropriate amenity and utility space, proportionate to the scale, layout and location of the proposed development, is integrated acceptably within the contours of the site and the area in general, that safe access, parking and turning facilities are available to the development, the wider highway network isn’t affected detrimentally, whilst existing landscape features are retained where appropriate.

Policy H1 allocates sufficient land with growth areas (in this instance GR3) in accordance with the sustainable strategic settlement framework. In this instance, the site is allocated for approximately 40 dwellings.

Given the proposal is for a large number of dwellings, GDC33 and H4 requires that an adequate number of affordable dwellings is provided.

The remaining policies are concerned with nature conservation. This site is located in close proximity to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and within the zone of influence of the Caeau Mynydd Mawr Special Area of conservation. This area is home to the Marsh Fritillary Butterfly which is a European Protected species. Currently, the Local Authority is preparing Specific Planning Guidance (SPG) for all sites within this zone of influence, with the aim of safeguarding, creating and managing suitable sites for the Marsh Fritillary butterfly. As this application is within this area and will result in the loss or disturbance of a connectivity corridor for these butterflies, adequate mitigation is required in the form of a commuted sum to help purchase/maintain an existing area of habitat within the SAC to support the butterfly. This has been assessed by the Authority’s Biodiversity Officer and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) who has decided that a commuted sum of £1000 Per market value dwelling is an acceptable contribution to cover the loss of this site and is to be secured via a Section 106 Agreement.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

Llandybie Community Council has objected to this proposal stating the following reasons:

The number of dwellings to be erected on the site is excessive
The development of terraced houses is not acceptable as shown on the submitted drawings as existing residential properties in the surrounding area are detached or semi detached.
The proposed access onto Waterloo Road does not allow for sufficient visibility splays for the speed of traffic as the site of the proposed access junction for the development and also taking into account the proximity of other road junctions.
Existing services such as schools and surgeries are at full capacity, especially taking into account existing planning permissions granted.
The capacity of the existing foul drainage system in the area is possibly at capacity and should not be overloaded.

Further to these objections, two letters of objection have been received following the consultation process. The points of objection are as follows:

The privacy and value of objectors land will be greatly affected. The current rural nature will be lost.
The number of houses will greatly increase traffic and will jeopardise road safety and not benefit the area in any way. The visibility splays are not adequate and parking on the main road exacerbates the problem.
Ecological damage would occur as a Barn Owl, a Tawny Owl a Red Kite nest near the site and ducks and geese also use the site, not to mention nocturnal creatures.

In considering the points in turn, the issue of dwelling numbers has to be considered against the UDP allocation and national planning policy guidance. To this end there is a discrepancy between the two in that the UDP allocation id for 40 dwellings which makes a density of approximately 14.8 dwellings per hectare or 6 dwellings per acre. This density level is not considered to make efficient use of land, in a time where there is a shortage of new dwellings being built. At the lower density, the site would also be uneconomical to develop. It is considered that the density levels of 30 per hectare or 12 per acre is below a typical standard of approximately 14 per acre and therefore fits acceptably and provides a reasonable quantity and density of dwellings. The Local Development Plan (LDP) increases the allocation to 90 dwellings. Having due regard to current spatial layout standards this point cannot be sustained.

With regards to the point that terraces are not acceptable in this location as the wider area are detached or semi detached does not take into proper account the consideration of site design, energy efficiency or indeed common sense. The variety of terraces, which offers continuity of street scene as well as building and energy efficiency benefits is considered to be an acceptable design feature which fits with the context of this site and typical residential patterns in the locality. Given the site would have an identity of its own, this point of objection therefore can be similarly cannot be sustained.

The main point of objection raised by both Llandybie Community Council and the neighbour objections relates to highway concerns, particularly the access onto Waterloo Road. The Authority’s Head of Transport has considered the application carefully. In his consultation response, he recommends that the application would be acceptable in highways terms subject to conditions and the applicant entering into a Section 106 agreement to provide a contribution to provide traffic calming in the area around the junction of Waterloo Road and to provide a 20 mph speed limit. In doing this, the site’s visibility will be considered acceptable and highways safety will be improved through the traffic calming measures proposed. As such, the proposal is considered to be compliant with policies GDC11, GDC12 and T3.

With regard to the concern that public services are at capacity in the area, this may be the case. However, this needs to be balanced against the need for new homes in the area. Furthermore, increase in demand typically leads to accommodation of these demands which is consistent with the creation of growth in a capitalist market. Penygroes on the whole has an allocation for many more dwellings than these proposed and it is unlikely that many of these allocations will be developed before the end of the UDP plan period. On balance, it is considered that the proposed development is of an acceptable scale and that local facilities, within the general locality would have the capacity to accommodate the occupiers of the new dwellings.

Turning to the point regarding foul drainage capacity, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water initially commented that there is adequate capacity for 40 dwellings, as per the UDP allocation, but any more dwellings could not be occupied until the required improvements had been completed. However, these comments were received in early 2010 when the application was originally submitted. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has been reconsulted to find out the current status in the area. These comments have yet to be received. Based on the submitted information, a condition is to be added restricting the occupation of the 41st dwelling until such a time that the capacity within the local treatment works can be expanded.

With regard to the objection relating to privacy, objectors land value, and the general rural nature of their outlook, as Members will be aware, affects on land value are not material planning considerations. With regards to privacy, it is considered that the design of the site accommodates acceptable the proposed dwellings whilst not detrimentally affecting the residential privacy of the occupiers of the neighbouring existing dwellings. It should be noted that this land is allocated for residential development specifically in the UDP and as such, the objectors should expect that this land would be developed for residential purposes. The fact that the outlook of the objectors will change has to be balanced against the benefits of the development. It is considered that the amenities of the occupiers of the existing dwellings will change, but given the separation distances, design and landscaping, this change would not be detrimental in nature.

The final point regarding ecology has already been touched upon above. In considering the point further, the applicant has submitted a Phase 1 Habitat study to consider the ecological value of the site and the effects the proposal may have on flora and fauna, particularly any protected species. With particular regard to bats, the buildings to be demolished are of low potential for bats, but the site has potential for foraging. Provided the developer follows the specific guidance regarding bats, the issue can be adequately mitigated.

There are also safeguards regarding birds and reptiles which should be followed. This site has undergone a Test of Likely Significant Effect and the submission of the Phase 1 Habitat Survey has considered the issues of bats and dormice, along with the potential to support Marsh Fritillary butterflies. As discussed above, subject to assessment, a commuted sum to provide support for the Marsh Fritillary through management of existing suitable habitat and purchase of additional habitat within the SAC, it is considered to meet the tests of the S.106 and, along with the controlled land to the south remaining as a habitat mitigation scheme is considered to be adequate mitigation to offset the loss of this currently undeveloped land.

CONCLUSION

In addition to the above discussion, the following issues need to be considered:

Design

In terms of the individual dwelling design, the units are fairly basic and standard, akin to many modern dwellings built on residential development sites of this size. The site layout is acceptable, with a fairly good mixture of dwellings, with important and strong vistas created within the site and a break up of monotony with use of different house types linked.

Highways

Further to the Highways advice received regarding the access and traffic calming, for which the applicant is to contribute, the internal highway arrangements and parking proposals meet adoptable standards, with adequate road widths, parking spaces and pavement widths.

Drainage

The site’s surface water drainage would be via a SUDS system, with the provision of attenuation tanks near to the site’s southern boundary and the existing ditch. This is considered to be acceptable and will ensure that site runoff will not exceed that of the land when it is undeveloped.

Foul water has raised the initial concerns of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, as noted above. The current recommendation is that a condition is imposed restricting occupation of the 41st dwelling until such time as the upgrades to the foul sewage treatment works have been completed.

Contributions

As this is full planning application for a fairly large residential development, there are a number of Section 106 contributions that are required as per policy GDC33.

The issue of Marsh Fritillary butterfly mitigation requires that the developer provides £1000 per market value dwelling, which equates to £60,000. This money is to be used to help purchase and manage suitable Marsh Fritillary habitat within the Caeau Mynydd Mawr SAC.

With regard to parks and open space contributions, a sum of £53,588 is requested. This has been reduced from £113,588 to facilitate the provision of £60,000 for butterfly mitigation to be accommodated, taking into account the fact that the applicants are to provide a large area of land for ecological mitigation also.

In terms of education contributions, as there is £73,000 of unspent money in the Penygroes Ward, it is considered that there is no requirement for education contributions.

With regards to affordable dwellings, 19 of the proposed units are to fulfil this requirement, with 10 3 bedroom and 9 two bedroom units earmarked. This level is at the typical 25% that the Authority requests and is therefore considered acceptable.

In light of the above discussion, subject to conditions and the applicant entering into a Section 106 Agreement to mitigate against the undesirable consequences of this application, the proposal is considered to be an acceptable form of residential development upon allocated residential land. As such, this application is recommended for approval.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

1 The development hereby permitted shall be commenced before the expiration of five years from the date of this permission.

2 The development hereby approved shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the Ecological Mitigation Strategy recommendations received on 8 April 2011.

3 All planting, seeding or turfing that forms part of the landscaping scheme hereby approved shall be carried out in the first planting season following the completion of the development.

4 Prior to its use by vehicular traffic, the new access road shall be laid out and constructed with 5.5 metre carriageway, 2.0 metre footways, and 8 metre kerbed radii at the junction with the B4297 County road.

5 The gradient of the vehicular access serving the development shall not exceed 1 in 20 for the first 10 metres from the edge of the carriageway.

6 The access, visibility splays and turning area required, shall be wholly provided prior to any part of the development being brought into use, and thereafter shall be retained unobstructed in perpetuity. In particular, no part of the access, visibility splays, or turning area, is to be obstructed by non-motorised vehicles.

7 Prior to the occupation of any of the dwellings herewith approved, the required access roads and footpaths from the existing public highway shall be laid out and constructed strictly in accordance with the plans herewith approved, to at least the base course levels, and with the visibility splays provided.

8 The parking spaces and layout shown on the plans herewith approved shall be provided to the written approval of the Local Planning Authority prior to any use of the development herewith approved. Thereafter, they shall be retained, unobstructed, for the purpose of parking only. In particular, no part of the parking or turning facilities is to be obstructed by non-motorised vehicles.

9 The development hereby permitted shall not be commenced (including any ground works or site clearance) until details of a scheme to eradicate Japanese Knotweed has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority’. Furthermore works should be implemented in accordance with the approved scheme.

10 The existing hedgerows on site are to be protected by fencing to BS5837 (Trees in relation to Construction) standard, whilst development takes place. No materials or equipment should be stored or dumped inside the fence.

11 The work shall be carried out in accordance with the Countryside Council for Wales approved dormouse survey, method statement and mitigation measures.

12 Where any species listed under Schedules 2 or 4 of Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 is present on the site in respect of which this permission is hereby granted, no works of site clearance, demolition or construction shall take place in pursuance of this permission unless a licence to disturb any such species has been granted in accordance with the aforementioned Regulations and a copy thereof has been produced to the Local Planning Authority.

13 No development shall commence until details of a lighting scheme is submitted and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority that limits disturbance to bats particularly along potential flight/wildlife corridors (following the guidance listed within the document, Bats and Lighting in the UK, Bat Conservation Trust, 2008). All works should be implemented in accordance with the approved lighting plan.

14 All ecological mitigation shall be carried out in accordance with the Countryside Council for Wales approved mitigation strategy.

15 No development shall commence until an Ecological Management Plan has been submitted to, and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority that details the co-ordination, conservation management and future monitoring of new and retained habitats.

16 There shall be no occupation for beneficial use of the 41st dwelling to be constructed until 30 April 2015 or at such time as improvements to the offsite public waste treatment works is completed and operational and this has been confirmed by the Sewerage Undertaker in writing to the Local Planning Authority.

17 No development approved by this permission shall be commenced until a Method Statement detailing all necessary pollution prevention measures for the construction phase of the development is submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

18 Each new dwelling hereby permitted shall be constructed to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and achieve a minimum of 1 credit under category ‘Ene1 - Dwelling Emission Rate’ in accordance with the requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide November 2010. The development shall be carried out entirely in accordance with the approved assessment and certification.

19 Construction of any dwelling hereby permitted shall not begin until an ‘Interim Certificate’ has been submitted to the Local Planning Authority, certifying that a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and a minimum of 1 credit under ‘Ene1 - Dwelling Emission Rate’, has been achieved for that individual dwelling or house type in accordance with the requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes:Technical Guide November 2010.

20 Prior to the occupation of the individual dwelling hereby permitted, a Code for Sustainable Homes ‘Final Certificate’’ shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority certifying that a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and a minimum of 1 credits under ‘Ene1 - Dwelling Emission Rate’, has been achieved for that dwelling in accordance with the requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide November 2010.

REASONS

1 Required to be imposed pursuant to Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

2, 9
& 15 In the interest of ecology.

3 In the interest of visual amenity.

4-8 In the interest of highway safety.

16-17 To protect the integrity of the existing public sewerage system.

18-20 To ensure the construction of a sustainable dwelling.

NOTE(S)

1 Please note that this permission is specific to the plans and particulars approved as part of the application. Any departure from the approved plans will constitute unauthorised development and may be liable to enforcement action. You (or any subsequent developer) should advise the Council of any actual or proposed variations from the approved plans immediately so that you can be advised how to best resolve the matter.

2 All surface water from the development herewith approved shall be trapped and disposed of so as to ensure that it does not flow on to any part of the public highway.

3 No surface water from the development herewith approved shall be disposed of, or connected into, existing highway surface water drains.

4 If the applicant intends to offer the proposed estate road for adoption to the highway Authority under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980, then he is advised to contact the Authority’s Highways Adoptions officer Mr Cliff Cleaton, at the earliest opportunity.

5 It is the responsibility of the developer to contact the Streetworks Manager of the Local Highway Authority to apply for a Streetworks Licence before undertaking any works on an existing Public Highway.

6 Further advice and guidance from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is contained within their correspondences dated 23 March 2010, appended to this permission.

7 Further advice and guidance from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is contained within their correspondences dated 23 March 2010, appended to this permission.

8 Further advice and guidance from the Environment Agency is contained within their correspondence dated 12 March 2010, appended to this permission.

9 Further advice and guidance from the Authority’s Biodiversity Officer is contained within the correspondence dated 16 February 2012 and Test of Likely Significant Effect document, appended to this permission.

10 The applicant will be required to enter into a Section 106 Agreement to ensure the provision of the following:

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies, which refer, are as follows:

The proposed development accords with policy GDC2, of the UDP in that the proposed dwelling represents an acceptable form of development which is appropriate to the character and appearance of the surrounding area, is of an acceptable design and will not have an unacceptable impact upon the residential amenity of nearby properties.

The proposed development accords with policy GDC8 of the UDP in that the proposed development fits in acceptably with the existing topographical features.

The proposed development accords with policy GDC9 of the UDP in that the proposed dwelling includes appropriate amenity and utility space proportionate to the scale, layout and location of the dwelling.

The proposed development accords with policies GDC11, GDC12 and T3 of the UDP in that the proposed development provides an adequate access, parking and turning facilities and through mitigation, would not detrimentally affect the safety of other highway users or generate unreasonable levels of traffic.

The proposal accords with policy GDC33 in that the development provides for 19 affordable dwellings and provides benefits for ecology.

The proposed development accords with policy H1 of the UDP in that the land is situated within the settlement limits for Penygroes and is allocated for residential development within the growth area. The proposal does not conflict with other policies within the plan and does not cause any highway, amenity or utility service provision objections.

The proposal accords with policies EN1, EN3, EN5, EN6, and EN9 in that the existing trees and hedgerows that form the boundary of the application site are to be retained for the most part, whilst a large area of land will remain undisturbed as part of a phase 1 habitat mitigation scheme. Furthermore, the site will positively contribute to the habitat regeneration scheme for Marsh Fritillary Butterflies within the Caeau Mynydd Mawr SAC.

Application No

E/24436

Application Type

Full Planning

Proposal &
Location

CONVERSION AND REFURBISHMENT OF GRADE 2 LISTED PROVISIONS MARKET - PROPOSED DEVELOMENT OF 13 NEW RESIDENTIAL UNITS INCLUDING 4 NO. HOUSES AND 9 NO. FLATS AT THE OLD PROVISIONS MARKET, NORTH BANK/CARMARTHEN STREET, LLANDEILO, CARMARTHENSHIRE, SA19 6AP

Applicant(s)

GRWP GWALIA - MR ELFED ROBERTS

Agent

PCKO ARCHITECTS - MR PAUL WEBB

Case Officer

Kevin Phillips

Electoral Ward

Llandeilo

Date of validation

01/03/2011

This is an application in which Carmarthenshire County Council has an interest either as applicant/agent, or in terms of land or property ownership.
CONSULTATIONS
Head of Transport – The amended drawings received in November 2011 “still reflect development     within highway limits as advised in my meeting with the developers and yourself in August last year.      
 
You will recall that the Highways Authority are forming a bus stop to the north of the Provisions Market and within the highway boundary. The red line shown for the site is therefore incorrect, as previously advised.
 
Furthermore, proposals include for three number parking bays, for public use, on the south side of the building (Carmarthen Street), again development of the highway and realigning the footway in so doing.
 
As plans exist to provide the bus stop I am advised to recommend REFUSAL of this application”.

Llandeilo Town Council - Objected to the original application for the following reasons;

1. The application will remove the current parking spaces used by residents of Carmarthen Street and new Road.

2. The proposal for 4 houses and 9 flats only allows for 12 car parking spaces. This is totally insufficient for this number of premises.

3. The Town Council believes that the initial project included refurbishment of the old provisions market. According to these plans, it seems that what will be done is leave a tidy shell !!! with no proposed refurbishment only what the applicant sees as pipe dreams.

4. The Town Council wants to see the old provisions market fully refurbished, and to have parking areas clearly available.

5. The Town Council does not feel that merely having extra flats in a conservation area enhances the Town. There are already large numbers of privately owned flats that are empty in the Town.
6. The site needs to be developed as one project and not be considered in two projects
The amended planning application resulted in the receipt of the following objections;
The plans although altered still do not to meet with approval from the Town Council.

1) Not in keeping with the surrounding town scene. The apartments will dwarf existing properties

2) Inadequate car park facility 1 space per household where Carmarthenshire County Council’s Planning regulations stipulate 2 per household, yet Gwalia believe that 1 space is adequate. This, if accepted, will add to the parking problems in this part of the Town.

3) With still a large number of houses for sale or rent in the town where is the perceived need for these houses? See our earlier comments which estimated 50 houses for sale plus large number of rental properties,

Market Hall

By building on the car park there is little potential or provision for adequate car parking surrounding the Market Hall. This would inhibit any commercial usage for the Market Hall.

With empty shops in Llandeilo and with a national surplus of commercial premises. We question the commercial viability of the developers finding persons to rent space especially without the provision of adequate car parking. No trader can expect to run an enterprise without having adequate car parking space. The building of the houses will destroy any chance of securing a commercial enterprise in the Market Hall

Llandeilo needs the car parking space more than it needs additional housing. We should urge the County council to decline the offer by Gwalia and allow time for other interested organisations to see if they can cope with idea to utilise this building.

Local organisations have viable plans for the Market Hall and are committed to providing car parking space ie not building on the land that should be set aside for car parking

Public Opinion

There is a ground swell of public opinion against the Gwalia development with rumours of a petition been organised against the development of land that people feel was given to the people of Llandeilo by the Stepney Gulston family at the turn of the last century.
Local Member - County Councillor I Jones conveys he is against the proposed development. It is also conveyed that there is a lack of commercial usage as first promised and there are enough flats in Llandeilo presently.
Dyfed Archaeological Trust - 24 Carmarthen Street has a vaulted cellar which is believed medieval in date and this suggests that evidence for the medieval town could extend into the proposed development site. It is recommended that an archaeological watching brief condition should be attached should consent be forthcoming.
Countryside Council for Wales - The proposed development is not objected to, however there is the need to progress the development with caution whilst removing the roof and carrying out works to the stone walls. If any bats are encountered during works, the developer must stop immediately and inform the Countryside Council for Wales.
The removal of the canopy may affect nesting birds and this must be done outside the nesting period. The nesting mitigation recommendations put forward by the ecologist are welcomed. The scrub habitat is considered to be of low ecological value, however it is encouraged that replacement is undertaken by the introduction of local provenance species in the landscaping scheme. The ecologist identified the site as being slow worm habitat and it is encouraged to replace and mitigate for the loss of such habitat.
Head of Social Care, Health & Housing Department - Considering the proposed mixed use of the site and the non specific commercial factor, it is advised that a full noise impact assessment is undertaken to ensure the proposal does not impact on local amenity and that the buildings are insulated against emission of sound in accordance with a scheme to be submitted. In addition, prior to the commencement of the development, a scheme for the control of dust and noise shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority. The comments do not prejudice any Environmental Health enforcement action required as a result of the proposals.
Contaminated Land Officer - No adverse comments to make.
Environment Agency - No objection. It is advised that Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water are consulted to confirm that the sewerage and sewage disposal system serving the development have sufficient hydraulic and biological capacity to accommodate the additional flows generated as a result of the development. Further advice is given on surface water drainage, pollution control measures and a condition is recommended, duty of care regulations advise is given, soil import/export, and it is recommended to embrace water-saving measures and to use materials that move towards a low carbon footprint.
Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water - Foul and surface water discharge must be drained separately from the site and no surface water drainage or land drainage runoff, either directly or indirectly, shall be allowed to connect to or discharge into the public sewer. The site is crossed by a public sewer and it is required that no part of the building will be permitted within 3 metres wither side of the centreline of the public sewer.
No problems are envisaged with the Waste Water Treatment Works for the treatment of domestic discharges from the site.
A water supply can be made available to serve this proposal and the developer may be required to contribute towards the provision of new offsite and/or on site water main and associated infrastructure.
Principal Housing Officer (Social Care, Health & Housing) – Conveys the following;

“There are 274 single people and 96 couples without children on the Housing Choice Register for the Llandeilo town area, so there is without doubt unmet need in the town. Local people may have a view on whether more flats in the town are desirable, but this is another question altogether. The proposed development does include a small number of houses. It may be worth asking the applicant whether alternative scenarios involving more houses and fewer flats have been investigated, and if so why the current mix was chosen.

I supplied housing need information to the local member last year, when there were a similar number of single people and childless couples looking for accommodation as there are now. “
Neighbours/Public - A site notice posted and a press notice publicising the application, and 55 letters of objection having been received as a result, which includes an objection petition signed by 49 local residents. The issues of objection raised are as follows:
Insufficient parking is provided for the proposed development
The housing density for the site will be too intensive
Insufficient scope for use of the Provisions Market as a retail or business centre
The disposal of the Provisions Market is based on financial necessity and not in the public interest
The design of the proposed development is not considered complimentary and is detrimental to the visual amenity of the conservation area
The use of the area fronting the Provisions Market for parking of vehicles has attained legal right
There will be a loss of privacy for local residents
There will be a significant noise problem for local residents
The proposal to leave the Provisions Market empty whilst developing the land around will compromise the ability of finding a long-term use of the Provisions Market
There is no need for affordable housing in the locality
The Provisions Market should be used for a community use
RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY
The following previous applications have been received on the application site:
634/93 Recycling site

18373/91 Change of use of part of garage to offices

18269/91 Security fencing

E/02609 Recycling site

TO/01477 Conversion to national pottery skills centre

TO/01478 Conversion to national pottery skills centre

E/24435 Conversion and Refurbishment of Grade listed

THE SITE
The application site is situated on the edge of the historic town centre on Carmarthen Street to the south west, with New Road on the north-west boundary, North Bank on the south east and the rear garden and curtilages of properties along New Road to the north east. The site incorporates the former Provisions Market Building, a car park, a recycling centre and derelict land that formerly contained a Local Authority highways depot building and its ancillary yard.

The former Provisions Market is a Grade II listed building which is listed for Group Value. The building is also located within the Llandeilo Conservation Area which was designated in 1971, as the area was considered of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. This conservation area was enlarged in 1986.

The conservation area encompasses a large area and in terms of the buildings these date from the 18th to early 20th century. The former Provisions Market occupies the upper part of Carmarthen Street and this area is important historically as its development coincided with the expansion of the town beyond its medieval core in the mid to late 19th century and a number of the buildings in the immediate area largely retain this character. The importance of this period has been acknowledged by virtue the former National School, School House being listed in the group. The upper part of Carmarthen Street also provides the main focal part into the older part of lower Carmarthen Street which was described in the 1972 conservation area appraisal as ‘one of the best parts of Llandeilo’.

The application site is located within the development limits for Llandeilo town as identified within Inset map S4 of the Carmarthenshire UDP and adjacent to the retail town centre (policy R1) identified primarily as Rhosmaen Street, King Street, Carmarthen Street and New Road encompassing properties opposite both road-frontage elevations of the site..
THE PROPOSAL
This scheme involves the refurbishment and conversion of a Grade II listed Provisions Market building and the development of 13 new residential units on the adjacent land. The scheme was first devised in 2007 following a development brief from Carmarthenshire County Council. The Provisions Market building has been used as a fire station and manufacturing (Use Class B8) however it has been vacant for some time and the land adjacent now houses a recycling facility adjacent to North Bank and also acts as an ad hoc parking area with access off Carmarthen Street. The local townscape context comprises terraced residential streets, with a number of properties of individual architectural merit, now listed, within the Conservation Area.

A full planning application was submitted in March 2011 following pre-application discussion with the Local Authority (LA), in conjunction with a Listed Building Consent application (E/24435). The developer hosted a public exhibition in April 2011 to consult local residents on the proposed development.

The refurbishment proposal for the Provisions Market seeks to protect the existing structure and preserve its character, appearance and fabric. It will be refurbished in order to provide a shell for future use. No end users have yet been identified however three fitting out configurations for the internal space are included in the Planning & Listed Building application, with the Design and Access Statement supporting the application, which promotes opportunities such as Offices, workshops, gallery, shops, bar/restaurant, market, arts/tv studio and exhibitions . The proposed refurbishment Provisions Market will restore the original form and fabric, and upgrade the existing glass roof lantern, to maximise natural light. It will retain the additional entrance onto Carmarthen Street, created when the market was used as a fire station, and also utilise the in the side elevation, opening onto the new public square, to enhance the use of the square. New residential accommodation adjoining the Provisions Market defines the perimeter of the square and is intended to contribute to the active frontage. The developer anticipates using materials already used on site to maintain the character of the building.

The proposed residential block at the land adjacent to the Provisions Market includes 2 x 2 bed houses and 2 x 3 bed houses, and 9 x 1 or 2 bed flats, linked to the Provisions market which creates a small public square between the market and the planned new dwellings, which complete the residential terrace at North Bank. An open aspect has been retained to the rear of North Bank terrace by providing parking and amenity space for the new development, and there is a planting scheme proposed which accommodates new habitats for wildlife. The proposed scheme has 9 parking spaces to the rear parking area to the rear of North Bank terrace with access gained from North Bank, 4 parking spaces to the north of proposed dwellings (access is through a covered area from the proposed public square) and 3 parking spaces at the Provisions market side of the proposed public square. Besides the 16 parking spaces within the new housing site, it is also proposed to provide 3 lay-by parking spaces fronting the Provisions Market along Carmarthen Street and a further 2 along New Road.

It is conveyed in the application that the initial repair work to the Provisions Market has a budget allocation of £500,000 with the new build budgeted at just above £1m. The cost of the internal conversion of the Provisions Market has yet to be determined and will be
dependant on end user requirements.
PLANNING POLICY AND STATUTORY GUIDANCE
The development plan for the purposes of Section 38 of the Planning and Compensation Act (2004) is the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan (UDP), adopted on 19 July 2006.
Policies GDC11 and GDC12 are particularly relevant. GDC11 states that all developments in the interest of highway safety must be served by an appropriate access, parking and turning facilities and GDC12 states that all proposals which generate levels of traffic on the surrounding road network, which cause harm to highway safety or amenity of residents living alongside that network, shall be refused. Policy T3 is also relevant and replicates the access, turning area and traffic capacity issues raised by the aforementioned polices.
Also considered relevant are policies GDC2 and H2. Policy, GDC2 in this instance requires that the development will sustain or enhance the local environment in terms of mass, density, plot ratio and scale; will be of a suitable design; would avoid the loss of important features; will cause no harm to the privacy and amenity of existing buildings and their respective users/occupiers; will be designed to ensure ease of access for all and will include appropriate management/eradication of invasive species. Policy H2 requires that the proposal complies with the policies of the UDP and will not cause any objections with regard to highways, amenity or utility service provision.
Policy BE6 is relevant as it aims to prevent alterations and extensions to a listed building where it would adversely affect its character and policy BE7 requires that proposals for the change of use will only be permitted where the proposed use is compatible with the character and setting of the building, would assist the continued financial viability, retention and enhancement of the building and its character and would not lead to pressure for unsympathetic alterations or extensions. Policy BE8 requires that development that would adversely affect the setting of a listed building will not be permitted. The site’s conservation area status requires that policy BE9 of the UDP is considered in the determination which conveys that consent should not be granted if a proposal adversely affects existing buildings, structures, open spaces, trees and other features which make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area.
Policy GDC17 is also relevant in terms of a general conversion policy and GDC20 relates to the application of landscaping schemes at development sites.
National planning guidance is set out in Planning Policy Wales (PPW) Edition 4 – February 2011 and associated Technical Advice NOTE(S) published by the Welsh Assembly Government. TAN 18 is particularly relevant in terms of the highway issues relevant to the case.
Section 16 (2) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 places a statutory duty on local planning authorities to have special regard to the desirability of preserving a listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses.

Section 72 (1) of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 places a statutory duty on local planning authorities to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the conservation area.

Paragraph 6.1.1 emphasises the importance of the historic environment, encompassing archaeology and ancient monuments, listed buildings, conservation areas and historic parks, gardens and landscapes - is protected. The Assembly Government’s objectives in this field are to:
• preserve or enhance the historic environment, recognising its contribution to economic vitality and culture, civic pride and the quality of life, and its importance as a resource for future generations; and specifically to
• protect archaeological remains, which are a finite and non-renewable resource, part of the historical and cultural identity of Wales, and valuable both for their own sake and for their role in education, leisure and the economy, particularly tourism;
• ensure that the character of historic buildings is safeguarded from alterations, extensions or demolition that would compromise a building’s special architectural and historic interest; and to
• ensure that conservation areas are protected or enhanced, while at the same time remaining alive and prosperous, avoiding unnecessarily detailed controls over businesses and householders.
It stresses the role Local planning authorities in securing the conservation of the historic environment while ensuring that it accommodates and remains responsive to present day needs. This is a key aspect of local authorities’ wider sustainable development responsibilities which should be taken into account in both the formulation of planning policies and the exercise of development control functions.

Paragraph 6.5.9, Chapter 6, PPG Wales states that “where a development proposal affects a listed building or its setting, the primary material consideration is the statutory requirement to have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building, or its setting, or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses.”

Paragraph 69 of the Welsh Office Circular 61/96 states that applicants will need to show why works which affect the building’s character are desirable or necessary. Paragraph 95 states that many listed buildings can sustain a degree of sensitive alteration or extension to accommodate continuing or new uses. Appendix to Annex D of the Welsh Office Circular 61/96 1 (a) – (h) gives advice on alterations in detail.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS
Twenty five letters of objection have been received and the issues raised shall be considered below;
Insufficient parking is provided for the proposed development
The Head of Transport has recommended refusal of the application as the scheme proposed indicates that 2 lay–by car parking spaces at New Road where it is intended to provide a bus stop facility, work on which is now largely completed.
Whilst the bus stop results in the loss of two of the proposed parking spaces, 16 parking spaces are proposed for the town centre housing proposal and the parking proposed for the future use of the Provisions Market is now reduced to three.
The remainder of the parking will be accommodated by on street parking, local public car park at Carmarthen Road and the town centre car park off Crescent Road. Whilst it is acknowledged that previous users of the former Market Provisions building and now local residents park vehicles on the area between the rear of the pavement and the building at both the New Road and Carmarthen Street frontages, the bus stop and implementation of permission for the proposed development shall result in the loss of this facility. This parking facility is however an informal arrangement that could be ended by the land owner (Carmarthenshire County Council) at any time. The existing B2 General Use of the building could also be re-established at any time without any planning requirement for any dedicated off-street parking.
The housing density for the site will be too intensive
The site is within the centre of the town where there is a linear form of high density housing along Carmarthen Street, North Bank and New Road; the proposed development is in the town centre and the scale of the proposal is not considered to be excessive at this particular location with existing housing of a high density.
Insufficient scope for the use of the Provisions Market as a retail or business centre
The Local Planning Authority has to determine the application as submitted and the application has put forward a number of options as to the possible layout and accommodation of the Provision Market in the future. The building will not be overly renovated in order to maximise the marketability of uses at the building.
The disposal of the Provisions Market is based on financial necessity and not in the public interest
The sale of the property to the private sector is not considered to be a material planning consideration.
The design of the proposed development is not considered complimentary and is detrimental to the visual amenity of the conservation area
The initial design submitted to the Local Planning Authority in March 2011 was not considered to be a sensitive response to the context of the town as conveyed by the Design Commission for Wales in their Design Review Report. The review panel was disappointed that there was no street elevation demonstrating how proposals completed North Bank terrace, or how the residential block sat within the context of the townscape, directly adjacent to the terrace and the Provisions Market. The fenestration details for the new build along North Bank terrace and overlooking the public square were considered inappropriate to the context of the site. However, the new town square adjacent to the Provisions Market and forming an entrance to the residential development was a positive contribution to the proposals, enabling the designers to provide inclusive and accessible parking provision for both developments. The panel felt the architecture was compromised because the plan was more complex than some of the earlier design development schemes, but thought that the avoidance of developing the rear of North Bank was positive, and understood that the difference in levels between the rear of North Bank and the rear of the market hall made developing this area complex.

However, a revised scheme was submitted in November 2011 which introduced improvements for the frontage at North Bank and detailing in the fenestration fronting the new town square, as detailed by the Design Commission for Wales. The improvements to the proposal has resulted in a scheme that whilst not a direct replica of the existing Provisions Market and the other historic buildings in the locality, it is now a design that takes positive elements of the local vernacular Georgian/Victorian architecture and provides a building that respects and compliments the conservation status of the locality and enhances the visual amenity of the locality substantially in comparison with the existing unsightly status of the land, the weaker and poorer design originally submitted.
The use of the area fronting the Provisions Market for parking of vehicles has attained legal right
This is not considered to be a material planning matter, and is a civil matter between the existing landowner (Carmarthenshire County Council) and the residents who make the claim.
There will be a loss of privacy for local residents
The layout of the proposed development is such that there will be no significant detriment caused to the living conditions of local residents as a result of loss of privacy. The residents at North Bank terrace will have a car parking area at the rear of their properties which will not harm their living conditions substantially and to the North there is a public house garden. Gardens for the residential properties along New Road are sufficiently distant to not result in any significant loss of privacy
There will be a significant noise problem for local residents from the construction associated with the development
This is not considered to be a material planning consideration and is an issue to be enforced by the Authority’s Public Protection section should issues arise in terms of noise and general disturbance during construction.
The proposal to leave the Provisions Market empty whilst developing the land around will compromise the ability of finding a long-term use of the Provisions Market.
A condition will be applied to the permission that prevents any housing development until the refurbishment and restoration of the Provisions Market has been completed and confirmed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Condition 10 refers.
There is no need for affordable housing in the locality
As noted in the Consultations section above, The Authority’s Principal Housing Officer (Social Care, Health & Housing) conveys that “there are substantial list of local residents on the Housing Choice Register for the Llandeilo town area, so there is without doubt unmet need in the town. Local people may have a view on whether more flats in the town are desirable, but this is another question altogether. The proposed development does include a small number of houses. It may be worth asking the applicant whether alternative scenarios involving more houses and fewer flats have been investigated, and if so why the current mix was chosen.”
The Provisions Market should be used for a community use
The Local Planning Authority is responsible for the consideration and determination of the planning application submitted on its planning merits and it is not its remit to consider what would be a preferred alternative use. The opportunity to use the Provisions Market for a community use should be raised with the Head of Asset Management, however the commitment to develop the building in the manner as submitted within this planning application as a viable commercial development has been adopted.
CONCLUSION
The application whilst in two sections with the conversion and refurbishment of the Provisions Market and the development of 13 new residential units (4 house and 9 flats), it is considered as one proposal, whereby the acceptance or objections of one section compromises the other. The site is a prominent location and the existing building at the site is of historic importance (grade 2 listed) within the town’s conservation area and there has been much interest in its development from the public with all written correspondence received objecting to the scheme for the reasons conveyed/addressed above.

The development is also subject to a separate application for Listed building Consent , and while the authority are not the applicants as owners of the building the authority will gain financially. It proposed that this application be forwarded to Cadw for consideration under paragraph 13 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The basis for guiding the recommendation is found in Planning Policy Wales at paragraph 6.1.1 and in Circular 61/96. In particular, the guidance provided in Circular 61/96 is that works to listed buildings should be kept to the minimum necessary to safeguard its future consistent with safeguarding its special interests, and that those works need to be justified. The general approach expounded in the Circular is that buildings should be ‘conserved as found’ and that successful maintenance and repair should be on a like for like basis. Nevertheless, as made clear in paragraph 1 to the Circular’s Annex D, it provides guidance and thus a measure of flexibility to take account of individual circumstances can be appropriate.

In order that the market hall is given a long-term future, it is evident that the existing building fabric needs attention. Whilst the objective is ‘to conserve as found’, the evidence indicates that the partial repair would not be practical or fully effective. The building has been vacant for a number of years and is showing signs of deterioration, occupying as it does a prominent position in the Conservation Area is has a considerable influence on the characters of this part of the town. Furthermore, the availability of a development opportunity provides investment could ensure the building’s long term future. Whilst this factor alone does not justify the intervention, it serves to strengthen the argument that the works should take a long term view and not leave the building with future potential maintenance and repair issues.

In the initial stages of considering the proposal, prior to the receipt of response to consultations, the Local Planning Authority had concerns regarding the development proposals, specifically the overall design in its context. It was not considered that the scheme preserves or enhances the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and the design was inappropriate for the setting, alongside the listed former Provisions Market building, opposite the listed former National School and School House and at a prominent location within the Conservation Area. The provision of informal parking on and around the site is a concern for local residents who currently enjoy this facility without regulation. There are questions about the level of parking required to serve the refurbished market hall and the residential proposals.

The Design Commission for Wales considered the proposal as submitted in March 2011 and their Design Review Report made suggestions on improvements to the scheme to allow a more favourable recommendation. It was conveyed that there was a lack of detailed contextual information in the Design and Access Statement (DAS). The amended plans and DAS, received in November 2011 introduced improvements for the frontage at North Bank and detailing in the fenestration fronting the new town square, as relayed by the Design Commission for Wales. The improvements to the proposal has resulted in a scheme that whilst not a direct replica of the existing Provisions Market and the other historic buildings in the locality, it is now a design that takes positive elements of the local vernacular Georgian/Victorian architecture and provides a building that respects and compliments the conservation status of the locality and enhances the visual amenity of the locality substantially in comparison with the existing unsightly status of the land, the weaker and poorer design originally submitted. The proposal is considered, in design terms and context of the conservation policies of the Carmarthenshire UDP, to enhance the appearance of the conservation area and preserves the listed building and its setting. The works proposed to bring the building back into a condition that can be utilised in the future are not significant enough to fall outside of the Conservation Principles published by Cadw in 2011, which makes it clear that any assessment of the effects of a proposal should have regard to the significance of the historic asset and that change to such assets must be managed to ensure its long-term future in such a way as to avoid its significance being diminished. Whilst it is acknowledged that there are changes to the building fabric, these can be considered as improvements that are warranted to allow the building to be a viable attractive potential to businesses, either as a single or mixed entity. This is recognised in paragraph 6.5.8 of Planning Policy Wales

“6.5.8 There should be a general presumption in favour of the preservation of listed buildings. The continuation or reinstatement of the original use should generally be the first option when the future of a listed building is considered. However, not all original uses will now be viable or necessarily appropriate. The application of development and listed building controls should recognise the need for flexibility where new uses have to be considered to secure a building’s survival. The aim should be to identify the optimum viable use that is compatible with the character and setting of an historic building.”

Paragraph 6.5.17, conveys that there is a presumption against proposals which do not preserve or enhance the character and appearance of a conservation area. It is considered that taking into consideration the status quo and the improvements to the initially submitted plans, now showing a scheme more akin to that submitted in the earlier pre-application approach which was more sensitive and complimented the local vernacular; the scheme is considered to enhance the Town’s local conservation area.

“6.5.17 Should any proposed development conflict with the objective of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of a conservation area, or its setting, there will be a strong presumption against the grant of planning permission. In exceptional cases the presumption may be overridden in favour of development deemed desirable on the grounds of some other public interest. The Courts have held that the objective of preservation can be achieved either by development which makes a positive contribution to an area’s character or appearance, or by development which leaves character and appearance unharmed.”

The refurbishment of the Provisions Market will restore the original form and fabric, and upgrade the existing glass roof lantern, to maximise natural light. It will retain the additional entrance, created when the market was used as a fire station, and utilise the entrance opening onto the new public square, to enhance the use of the square. The sustainability strategy in respect of the new residential scheme will achieve a minimum of Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, focussing on energy efficiency, possibly using Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology.

Whilst the conservation guidance contained within PPW aims to protect the listed buildings and conservation area, the retail policies of PPW wish to;

secure accessible, efficient, competitive and innovative retail provision for all the communities of Wales, in both urban and rural areas;
promote established town, district, local and village centres as the most appropriate locations for retailing, leisure and other complementary functions;
enhance the vitality, attractiveness and viability of town, district, local and village centres; and to
promote access to these centres by public transport, walking and cycling
And where possible the provision should be located in proximity to other commercial businesses, facilities for leisure, community facilities and employment. Such co-location of retail and other services in existing centres, with enhancement of access by walking, cycling and public transport, to provide the opportunity to use means of transport other than the car, will provide the greatest benefit to communities. This complementary mix of uses should also sustain and enhance the vitality, attractiveness and viability of those centres as well as contributing to a reduction of travel demand.
Paragraph 10.2.4 is relevant in terms of promoting mixed uses in town centres and the conversion of the listed Provisions Market prepares the building for an intended use, as substantial work would have been undertaken make the building more viable as a commercial business.
“10.2.4 Although retailing should continue to underpin town, district, local and village centres it is only one of the factors which contribute towards their well-being. Policies should encourage a diversity of uses in centres. Mixed use developments, for example combining retailing with entertainment, restaurants and housing, should be encouraged so as to promote lively centres as well as to reduce the need to travel to visit a range of facilities. Leisure uses can benefit town and district centres and with adequate attention to safeguarding amenities can contribute to a successful evening economy.”
Whilst paragraph 10.2.6, encourages the development in town centres, it requests that they should be managed to minimise congestion, pollution and parking problems which would otherwise reduce the convenience, attractiveness or competitiveness of these centres.
“10.2.6 Good access to, and convenient movement within, town centres are essential. Development plans should encourage the provision of good access to town and other centres for walkers and cyclists and for public transport, allowing for bus priority measures and public transport facilities. They should also encourage easy access to and within centres, and appropriate facilities, for people with limited mobility. Access for delivery vehicles should be provided for so as to assist the efficient functioning of centres. Access by car and short-term parking can also help centres to compete with existing out of centre locations, but they should be managed to minimise congestion, pollution and parking problems which would otherwise reduce the convenience, attractiveness or competitiveness of these centres.”
Paragraph 10.3.5 conveys that less parking is required in town centre locations as a more sustainable form of development.
“10.3.5 To maximise the opportunities for new development in centres, developers and retailers will need to be more flexible and innovative about the format, design and scale of proposed development and the amount of car parking, tailoring these to fit the local circumstances. Rather than propose developments with a mixture of large scale retail and/or leisure uses and a large amount of car parking which can only be accommodated at single site out-of-centre or even out-of-town locations, developers are expected to demonstrate why they could not develop elements of the larger scheme on a site, or a number of sites, in more central locations with less car parking.”
The Head of Transport has recommended the refusal of the application as the scheme would result in conflict between the requirements of the applicant to provide 2 lay-by car parking spaces along New Road, at the site of a proposed bus stop, work on which is nearing completion. In addition, there is significant objection raised to the proposed development of the Provisions Market and the adjoining land for 13 dwellings as it is considered that there will be insufficient parking provision for the use of the converted Provisions Market when businesses wish to occupy the building following the improvement works to the building and the construction of the dwellings. Sixteen parking spaces are proposed for the town centre housing proposal and the parking proposed for the use of the Provisions Market will be 5 parking spaces along the highways, which is now reduced to 3 because of works undertaken for commencement/completion of the bus stop. The remainder of the parking will be accommodated by on street parking, local car park at Carmarthen Road and the town centre car park off Crescent Road. Having due regard that the existing building has an extant B2 General Industrial use which can be re-established at anytime without any requirement for dedicated off-street parking, the parking and turning requirements associated with the business will be required to utilise the space available at the site presently.

The proposed development has been the subject of rigorous consideration by the consultees, Design Council for Wales, and local and other interested residents and it is considered that whilst there are concerns raised by the Head of Transport, Local Member, Town Council and the public with regard to the issues raised above in the Third Party Representations section of the report, a balance needs to be made between the harm caused by the proposed development against the benefits created by refurbishing the Provisions Market for a future use and the provision of affordable housing in the town centre.

The Provisions Market building is one that is recorded on the Wales Building at Risk register and the scheme put forward has resulted in amendments that fall within the context of managing change as the refurbishments at this stage will not be overly sensitive alterations; the character and integrity of the building will be safeguarded. The amended design of the housing development is considered to represent a complimentary and efficient use of the land and a sustainable form of development which fully maximises the potential of the site without being considered over-development. The amenity and privacy of adjacent neighbouring properties will not be detrimentally affected by this development. The proposal grasps an opportunity in this weak economic time to enhance the character, quality and function of an area.

Having considered all matters, on balance the sustainable nature of the benefits of refurbishment and restoration to utilising the deteriorating Provisions Market building in the centre of Llandeilo, the economic benefits resulting, affordable housing and employment provisions, it is considered that support of this project outweighs the harm caused from the inability to provide on-site parking at the Provisions Market site or the perceived concerns raised considered above. Therefore, the application is recommended for approval subject to the following conditions.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS
1 The development hereby permitted shall be commenced before the expiration of five years from the date of this permission.
2 All planting, seeding or turfing shall be carried out in the first planting season following the completion of the development.
3 Any trees planted in accordance with amended Drawing Number 384-01, received 13 April 2011 and Supplementary Landscape Implementation and Maintenance Information, subsequently removed, dying, being severely damaged or becoming seriously diseased within five years of planting shall be replaced with trees of similar size and species to those originally planted to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority.
4 The access, visibility splays and turning area required, shall be wholly provided prior to any part of the development being brought into use, and thereafter shall be retained unobstructed in perpetuity. In particular, no part of the access, visibility splays, or turning area, is to be obstructed by non-motorised vehicles.
5 Prior to the occupation of any of the dwellings herewith approved, the required access roads and footpaths from the existing public highway shall be laid out and constructed strictly in accordance with the plans herewith approved, to at least the base course levels, and with the visibility splays provided.
6 The parking spaces and layout shown on the plans herewith approved shall be provided to the written approval of the Local Planning Authority prior to any use of the development herewith approved. Thereafter, they shall be retained, unobstructed, for the purpose of parking only.
7 No development approved by this permission shall be commenced until a Method Statement detailing all necessary pollution prevention measures for the construction phase of the development is submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

8. No development approved by this permission shall be commenced until a Noise and Dust Management Plan has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The Management Plan shall address the construction phase and demolition phase of the proposed development and will include the noisiest phases arranged in terms of loudness, the duration of the phases and details of mitigation measures to be employed to minimise the noise during construction on the nearby residential site. The plan shall comply with the guidance found in the BS5228 Noise Vibration and Control on Construction and Open Site. The development shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the approved details.

9 The developer shall ensure that a professionally qualified archaeologist is present during the undertaking of any ground works in the development area, so that an archaeological watching brief can be carried out. The archaeological watching brief will be undertaken to the standards laid down by the Institute for Archaeologists. The Planning Authority will be informed, in writing at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the development, of the name of the said archaeologist.

10 No construction work shall be undertaken at the housing development of 4 houses and 9 flats until the refurbishment and restoration of the Provisions Market has been completed and confirmed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
REASONS
1 Required to be imposed pursuant to Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
2-3 In the interest of visual amenity.
4-6 In the interest of Highway safety.
7 Prevention of pollution

8 In the interest of the living conditions of local residents.

9 In the interest of protecting archaeology discovered at the site

10 To ensure that the refurbishment and restoration of the listed building is completed.

NOTE(S)
1 The development shall be carried out strictly in accordance with Drawing Number 0702_PL001, received 1 March 2011, amended Drawing Number 384-01, received 13 April 2011, Drawing Numbers 0702 PL002 Rev A, 0702 PL100 Rev B, 0702 PL101, Rev C, 0702 PL102 Rev B, 0702 PL103 Rev B, 0702 PL200 Rev B, 0702 PL201 Rev A, 0702 PL202 Rev A, received 14 November 2011.
2 Further advice and guidance from Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water is contained in their letter of the 6 April 2011, appended to this planning permission.
3 Further advice and guidance from the Environment Agency is contained in their letter dated 18 March 2011, appended to this planning permission.
4 All surface water from the development herewith approved shall be trapped and disposed of so as to ensure that it does not flow on to any part of the public highway.
5 No surface water from the development herewith approved shall be disposed of, or connected into, existing highway surface water drains.
6 It is the responsibility of the developer to contact the Streetworks Manager of the Local Highway Authority to apply for a Streetworks Licence before undertaking any works on an existing Public Highway.
7 If the applicant intends to offer the proposed estate road for adoption to the highway Authority under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980, then he is advised to contact the Authority's Highways Adoptions officer Mr Clliff Cleaton, at the earliest opportunity.
8 The applicant/agent’s attention is drawn to the contents of the Planning ecologist’s advice dated 30 March and 20 May 2011 and the Countryside Council for Wales’ letter, dated 22 February 2012, appended to the permission, which gives advice in relation to the mitigation for protected species and wildlife at the site.
9 These comments do not prejudice any Environmental Health enforcement action required as a result of the proposals, therefore it is important that any development does comply with all Environmental Health legislation, particularly that of statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

10 During the development and construction phases no works of demolition or construction to take place other than within the hours of

11 The applicant/agent’s attention is drawn to the contents of Dyfed Archaeological Trust’s letter, dated 14 July 2011, appended to this permission.

12 Please note that this permission is specific to the plans and particulars approved as part of the application. Any departure from the approved plans will constitute unauthorised development and may be liable to enforcement action. You (or any subsequent developer) should advise the Council of any actual or proposed variations from the approved plans immediately so that you can be advised how to best resolve the matter.

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies, which refer, are as follows:

The proposed development accords with GDC 2 of the UDP in that the siting and design of the proposal are satisfactory and will not give rise to unacceptable problems relating to privacy or amenity for neighbouring buildings. The proposal will also make efficient use of land and will be in keeping with the scale, mass and character of the area.
The proposed development will accord with policies GDC11 and GDC1 12 in that adequate access, parking and turning facilities can be achieved to serve the application site and the proposal will not generate levels of traffic that are detrimental to the safety of the local highway network.
The proposed works are in compliance with Policy BE6 of the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan, as the proposals would not have a harmful impact on the character of the listed building.

The proposed works are in compliance with Policy BE9 of the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan, as the proposals would not adversely affect the conservation area and makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area.

In having special regard to the desirability of preserving the building and its setting, and any features of special historic interest which it possess, as required under sections 16 (2) and 72 (1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, the Authority finds that the proposed works would have a beneficial effect in terms of preserving the special interest of the listed building, in additional to preserving and enhancing the character and appearance of the Llandeilo Conservation Area.

Application No

E/25041

Application Type

Full Planning

Proposal &
Location

PROPOSED ERECTION OF CLASS A1 RETAIL FOODSTORE, SERVICE YARD, CUSTOMER CAR PARK, NEW ACCESS ROAD, PETROL FILLING STATION AND ASSOCIATED DEVELOPMENT AT LAND WEST OF BEECHWOOD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, LLANDEILO, CARMARTHENSHIRE, SA19 7HA

Applicant(s)

SAINSBURY'S SUPERMARKETS LTD & LIBERTY PROPERTIES

Agent

WYG PLANNING & DESIGN - MR PETER WALDRON

Case Officer

Ceri Davies

Electoral Ward

Manordeilo & Salem

Date of validation

29/06/2011

CONSULTATIONS

Nathaniel Litchfield Partnership (Retail Consultants representing Carmarthenshire County Council) - Has provided comments on the Retail Impact Assessment for this application as well as the Retail Impact Assessments accompanying planning applications for a retail store in Ammanford (Ref No. E/24378) and in Cross Hands (Ref No. S/23696). The key conclusions being that only one store out the three can be justified qualitatively, with the recommendation that the best option would be the Llandeilo store.

Trunk Road AgencyHas provided advice with regard to highway and pedestrian safety; a previously issued holding direction has now been lifted..

Forward Planning Manager – Has highlighted Policy R7 of the UDP which supports the provision of appropriately sized convenience stores in the secondary settlements; and has advised that the proposal would appear to accord with the UDP, as such there would therefore be no policy objection to the application subject to compliance with the criteria presented in Policy R7. Also highlighted is Policy E7 whereby the sequential test has demonstrated in accordance with policy that the application site is the nearest available location to the town centre that can accommodate the proposal. Furthermore, none of the employment allocation has been taken up for employment purposes during the plan period. The Forward Planning Manager considers that appropriate opportunities for new employment sites would remain if this proposal were to proceed.

Head of Public Protection – The Public Protection Division has made the following comments in respect of specific issues:-

Manordeilo & Salem Community Council – Has highlighted the following objected to the application, citing the following concerns:

Scale of the development is too large

Highway safety and pedestrian safety

Traffic generation

Air pollution

Llandeilo Town Council – Has not formally objected to the planning application but has made the following observations:

An independent assessment of the retail impact assessment and the traffic impact assessment ought to be sought by the authority.

Proposed foodstore would lead to a loss of an employment allocated site.

Acknowledgement that the store would reverse consumer leakage to outside of the primary catchment area.

Creation of employment is welcomed but the loss of potential ‘industrial’ jobs as a result of the alternative use of the employment site should also be considered

Concern expressed that the proposed foodstore would have a negative impact on the economic viability of local shops.

Concern that the development if approved would lead to further residential development along the northern side of the A40.

Request that the proposed development be tied in with the construction of the Llandeilo By-pass.

Concern over the worsening pollution levels/air quality at Rhosmaen Street.

Strong concern over traffic generation through Llandeilo and potential for increased congestion along Rhosmaen Street.

Will the proposed shuttle bus be a long term provision.

Local Member - County Councillor JJJ Davies is a member of the Planning Committee and has declared an interest, hence has made no representation. The member for Llandeilo County Councillor I G Jones has reserved the right to make no prior comment as he wishes to address the Planning Committee.

Environment Agency – Has considered the findings of the Flood Consequence Assessment (FCA) for the site and the revised plans/mitigation measures; and has now removed its original objection over flood risk grounds on the basis that the mitigation scheme is implemented as detailed within the FCA. The agency has also advised on the provision of surface water drainage, biodiversity, foul drainage disposal, the petrol filling station specifically and pollution prevention, waste management. Taking into account the aforementioned, approval is recommended subject to the imposition of a number of suitable conditions/advisory notes

Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water – Has advised that foul and surface water discharge must be drained separately from the site; no surface water drainage or land drainage run-off, either directly or indirectly, shall be allowed to connect to or discharge into the public sewer.

Countryside Council for Wales – Has yet to formally respond to this application.

Cadw – Has yet to formally respond to this application.

Dyfed Archaeological Trust – Has advised that an implementation of a programme of building recording in accordance with a written scheme of investigation be undertaken prior to commencement of development.

Transition Town Llandeilo – Has provided arguments for and against the proposal.

Llandeilo & District Civic Trust – Has not objected to the planning application but has advised that the authority give careful consideration to the scale and design of the proposal.

Neighbours/Public - The application has been publicised by the posting of a Site Notice and a Press Notice.

39 individual letters of objection along with 29 standard duplicated letters replicating the issues of objection have been received to date.

118 individual letters of support along with 69 freepost cards (supplied by Sainsbury’s) inviting expressions of support have been submitted to date.

The points of objection are summarised as follows:

Site designation – the land is designated for employment land in the UDP and the emerging LDP

Loss of employment land

Contrary to UDP Policy

Conclusions of the RIA not accepted

No demand/justification for the proposed food-store

Scale/size of food-store is deemed excessive for this location

Proposal is at odds with the Carmarthen retail Study (CRS)

Traffic generation

Air pollution – Generation of traffic will reduce air quality in Llandeilo

Detrimental impact on the vitality of Llandeilo Town Centre/local shops

Detrimental impact on the character of the town of Llandeilo

Visual impact

Petrol filling station not required

Increase in light pollution

Increased flood risk

The points of support are summarised as follows:

Proposal food store would benefit Llandeilo

Existing shops in town centre will benefit and not be adversely affected

Attract consumers from outside the immediate area

Reduce the necessity to travel further afield ie Carmarthen

More sustainable form of development ie less travel trips

Provide employment opportunities

Widen shopping choice

Improved parking provision

Site is within walking distance to town centre

Shuttle bus service will reduce travel congestion

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

There is no relevant planning history.

APPRAISAL

Introduction

The application is submitted by Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd & Liberty Properties in respect of the proposed development of a Class A1 Retail Foodstore, Service Yard, Customer Car Park, New Access road, Petrol Filling Station and associated development. The site is located off the northern flank of the A40 Trunk Road within the settlement limits of Rhosmaen/Llandeilo as delineated in the Adopted Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan. The land is designated as a proposed employment area within the UDP.

Procedural Requirements

Prior to the submission of the application and during pre-application discussions the Local Planning Authority was approached for a “Screening Opinion”; following that a “Scoping opinion”. Having regard to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for this proposed development. The required EIA accompanied the submission of the planning application.

In respect of the Shopping Directive (Circular 15/93), Members are advised that that “gross shopping floorspace” of between 2,500 sqm and 20,000 sqm should be referred to the Welsh Government if it exceeds 20,000 sqm when combined with other eligible retail proposal(s). Other eligible proposals must:

Be within 10 miles of any part of the development (it is calculated that Llandeilo, Cross Hands and Ammanford are all situated within 10 miles of one another); and
Be a live application for gross shopping floorspace of not less than 2,500 sqm on the date when an application to which the Direction applies is made: or
Be a permission for gross shopping floorspace of not less than 2,500 sqm permitted in the last five years (for example, the Tesco proposal for 5,787 sqm of floorspace at Ammanford (Ref No. E/18772) would be eligible); or
Be a permission for gross shopping floorspace of not less than 2,500 sqm, substantially completed in the last five years.

In view of the above, it has been calculated that the following schemes would all be eligible in respect of the retail proposal at Llandeilo:

Llandeilo – 4,031 sqm gross (planning application valid on 29 June 2011)
Cross Hands – 8,375 sqm gross (planning application S/23696 valid on 22 March 2011)
Ammanford (TRJ site) – 4,413sqm gross (planning application E/24378 : valid on 22 February 2011)
Ammanford (Tesco) - 5,787sqm gross (planning permission granted in 2009)

In consideration of the development against the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Shopping Development) (England and Wales) (No.2) Direction 1993, it shows that cumulatively with other developments in the area, the proposal does take the total gross shopping floor-space above the threshold of 20,000 sqm (22,606 sqm in this instance) hence will require notification to the Welsh Government.

THE SITE

The application site consists of an irregular shaped parcel of relatively flat land situated in between the A40 Trunk road and Beechwood Industrial Estate, in Rhosmaen, which lies on the northern outskirts of Llandeilo. The site area measures approximately 2.74 Hectares (6.78 acres) and is currently used as pastureland; the site is bounded by the Nant Gurrey Fach watercourse along its southern boundary, whilst the land to the north and west is predominantly agricultural land. The site’s northern and western boundaries consist of mature hedgerows / trees. Access to the site will be gained via an altered access point directly off the existing roundabout at the A40 Trunk road.

The site is also part of a designated employment land allocation (S4/E3) which serves as an extension of the adjacent Beechwood Industrial Estate. The site lies partly within a C2 flood zone as shown in the latest Development Advice Maps issued by the Welsh Assembly in September 2009, and following the original submission, the application site boundary has been amended to encompass another field enclosure which will serve as a potential flood storage area. The elongated field enclosure lies in between the A40 Trunk road and the Nant Gurrey Fach watercourse.

THE PROPOSAL

The application seeks full planning permission for the construction of a Class A1 Retail Food store, Service Yard, Customer Car Park, New Access road, Petrol Filling Station and associated development. There will be a single vehicular access to the site serving the development, off the A40 roundabout.

An Architectural Design Document comprising a Design and Access Statement along with a Sustainability Appraisal was submitted with the application. The 4031 square metre Sainsbury food-store would be located along the site’s north western boundary, with the customer entrance on the eastern elevation of the store. The building would have a maximum width (west to east) of 56 m including canopy sections and a depth (south to north) of 68 m. The building would have a maximum height of approximately 6.0 m above ground level. The building would cover a total of 4031 sqm. Of this, 550 sqm would comprise the storage area, with the remaining 2588 sqm being the retail floor space and the further remaining space covering staff facilities, customer welfare area and a café. The building would only be single storey with no mezzanine levels or first floor proposed.

The external materials of the building would include flat composite metal cladding panels, coloured silver grey for the rear (north-west) elevation and vertical/horizontal timber cladding for the side elevations. The front (south-east) elevation would consist predominantly of aluminium shop front glazing system with elements of vertical/horizontal timber cladding. The roof is proposed to be a very shallow pitch roof comprising of metal cladding panels. Although the plans detail a sign showing the Sainsbury’s crest/brand above the roof line of the south-west elevation and also on the front (south-east) elevation these shall have to be the subject of a separate application for advertisement consent.

As part of the development a petrol filling station is also proposed, which would be sited in close proximity to the site entrance just off the new access road off the A40 roundabout; the main internal access road will link up with a new internal roundabout with two spinal roads off the said roundabout, one for customers utilising the car park and one for lorries delivering goods to the store. A total of 261 car parking spaces are to be provided within the main parking area to be sited to the east of the store itself. The service area for the store is to the rear of the building. Adjacent to the store entrance and under the canopy area would be the trolley bay and provision for secure cycle parking.

The plans show an 8m easement area between the Nant Gurrey Fach and the development. Due to the site’s proximity to the aforementioned watercourse, ecological surveys were submitted in conjunction with the application; in terms of riparian mammals, no evidence of either otter or water vole was recorded along the Nant Gurrey Fach or the adjacent buffer. The survey states that the river banks running alongside the application site boundary provide suitable habitat for otters using the river as a commuting corridor, however no otter holts were recorded.

There are a number of existing semi-mature and mature trees along the perimeter of the site as well as other vegetation particularly near the southern boundary with the river bank. The application was accompanied by a Tree Report and bat surveys to assess the amenity value of the trees and their potential as bat roosts/habitat. None of the trees surveyed are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or lie within a Conservation Area. No trees or group of trees of high quality and value (Category A) have been identified on the site within the area surveyed. A total of six trees of moderate quality and value (category B) have been identified; these included four oaks, one walnut and alder. A total of 15 individual trees of low quality and value (Category C) were identified; these included two oaks, three horse chestnut, two alder, two cherry, five crack willow and one hazel. The tree report states that only one crack willow tree is to be felled because of its condition; of the rest of the site, all broadleaved trees are to be retained and protected as part of the development. It is acknowledged that as the construction of the development will not result in the loss of any semi-mature or mature trees all suitable bat habitats are to be retained and protected.

RETAIL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

A Retail Impact Assessment was submitted by the applicants and this was carried out by White Young & Green (WYG). The assessment concludes that the proposed retail element of the application uses an employment allocated site and will bring forward positive economic development that will support between 200-250 new jobs in the local area. It states that the development of the site for a retail store will be of a significant benefit to the town of Llandeilo. It also states there is a quantitative need for a medium sized foodstore for Llandeilo and that there are no other sequentially preferable sites suitable and available to accommodate the proposal.

Quantitative Need

Details of the assessment are given below:-

The net sales area would be 2,391 sq m.

80% of the floor area would be dedicated to the sale of convenience goods and 20% comparison goods.

Total turnover is estimated at £26.1 million (£22.6 million from convenience goods based on a turnover density of £11,806 per sq m & £3.6 million from comparison goods based on a turnover density of £7,433 per sq m)

The benchmark turnover of existing convenience stores in the Primary Catchment Area (PCA) is £13.6 million. Of this Llandeilo has a convenience turnover of £2.7 m and Llandovery town centre has a convenience turnover of £2.0 m.

50% proportion of expenditure generated in the PCA leaks to other zones beyond the study area

Figures suggest both Llandovery and Llandeilo are trading significantly above benchmark levels.

There will be a surplus expenditure within the PCA of £36.6 million in 2013 rising to £38.0 million in 2016.

There are no existing medium sized foodstores in the study area.

Qualitative Need

The RIA has provided an assessment of other material considerations in support of the retail development to supplement the quantitative need assessment. For that purpose, the report concludes that residents in the PCA have a particularly limited choice of main food retail facilities at present and the proposal would assist in widening the choice of local shopping facilities for local consumers. Reference is made to the Carmarthenshire Retail Study (CRS) which recognises that whilst existing range of existing convenience stores is good for the size of settlement, the existing stores do not cater for main food shopping. The restricted choice is recognised in the CRS; the largest store in Llandeilo is only 560 sq m net in size. Owing to the above, the report has evidenced that there is significant expenditure leakage to stores outside of the PCA; for example, Tesco Extra in Carmarthen enjoys a 21% market share of convenience expenditure generated in the PCA, whilst a further 6% of expenditure is being leaked to other foodstores in Carmarthen (Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi); leakage is also occurring to facilities in Llanelli (3%), Ammanford (9%), Cross Hands (3%), Lampeter (4%). The estimated 50% level of leakage suggests that existing convenience retail facilities are not fulfilling the bulk food shopping needs of residents in the PCA.

The assessment considers the proposed foodstore will enhance the range of facilities in Llandeilo which is vital in maintaining the town’s role and function as a secondary settlement in the sub-regional settlement hierarchy. Increasing the proportion of expenditure retained in the PCA is also likely to promote the vitality and viability of Llandeilo Town Centre. It is evident from the findings of the CRS and the updated quantitative assessment that the existing Co-op stores in Llandeilo and Llandovery are significantly overtrading. The above assessment concludes that there is a quantitative and qualitative need for the proposed development in Llandeilo.

Sequential approach to site selection

The assessment states there are no sequentially preferable sites suitable and available to accommodate the proposed development. In retail planning terms, the application site is situated in an out-of-centre location, approximately 550 m walking distance from Llandeilo town centre boundary. The RIA states that a comprehensive sequential site analysis of potential in-centre and edge-of-centre locations has been undertaken in accordance with prevailing policy. Three alternative sites in the Llandeilo area have been assessed, namely the Llandeilo Provisions Market site, Llandeilo Northern Quarter and Ffairfach Industrial Estate. Strong reasons have been put forward in all three cases as to why these sites were not considered suitable. The assessment concludes that development of a foodstore on the application site would provide improved access to a wider choice of retail goods for residents of the area, reducing the need to travel to stores outside of the Primary Catchment Area.

Impact on vitality and viability of Llandeilo Town Centre

The RIA has considered the retail impact of the proposal on the vitality and viability of Llandeilo Town Centre. In terms of turnover it is anticipated the total annual turnover of the proposed foodstore would be around £26.1m; this will be split between £22.6m of convenience goods and £3.6m of comparison goods. The RIA indicates that the current turnover of all retail facilities in Llandeilo Town Centre is £8.6m, Llandovery Town Centre £5.3m, and the turnover of all facilities in the PCA £28.

The assessed pattern of likely trade draw to the proposal is as follows:

1% of trade from existing facilities in Llandeilo Town Centre

1% of trade from existing facilities in Llandovery Town Centre

35% of trade from other facilities in the PCA

63% of trade from outside the PCA

The proposed development is assessed to have a 3.6% impact on the turnover of Llandeilo Town Centre and a 3.0% impact on the 2016 turnover of Llandovery Town Centre. On this basis, it is concluded that there is no clear evidence that the proposed Sainsbury’s development is likely to lead to significant adverse impacts on the turnover of the established town centres in the PCA. In this context the RIA considers that the trading impact of the proposed Sainsbury’s store will not result in a significant effect on the vitality and viability of the town centre. Furthermore the assessment concludes the store not impact on the mix of uses outside of the retail sector, the historic interest in the town or its role as a tourist destination.

Transport Impact Assessment

A Transport Impact Assessment was submitted by the applicant, carried out by Connect Consultants as required by TAN18 Transport Annexe D which defines the thresholds for developments that require such an assessment. This states that for developments of over 1,000sqm for food retail that a TIA would be required.

The proposed development is situated just off the A40 Trunk Road that by-passes Llandeilo, access to the site would be gained directly off the existing three arm roundabout where the A40 and A483 meet. The scheme involves the following elements:

● The existing 3-arm A40 / A483 roundabout will be upgraded to 4-arm layout to provide access to the proposed foodstore, This will not compromise the possible future addition of a fifth arm on the south-east side of the roundabout to accommodate the future Llandeilo bypass proposals.
● The improvements to the A40 / A483 roundabout junction will include the provision of pedestrian refuge islands on all arms along with a signalised pedestrian crossing on the western A40 arm of the junction.
● Infrastructure within the Sainsbury’s site will connect the external footways to the foodstore entrance.
● Within the site, a 3-arm roundabout junction will distribute traffic to the car park/service yard and provide a turning facility for buses.
● A bus stop will be provided on the site access road to facilitate the diversion of public bus services and to accommodate Sainsbury’s proposed bus initiative (see below)

In addition to the physical works set out above, Sainsbury’s proposals include the following transport related improvements:-

There are bus stops located in close proximity to the site on the A40 and B4302 which provide access to the site by public transport. Existing footways provide pedestrian connections to the town centre.

The assessment states that walking distance for the uses within this proposal are 800m-200m. It states there are 3 bus stops within the ‘maximum walk distance threshold’ of 400m of the site and that the town centre is 200m from the site. A total of 4 local bus services a day on two routes are referred to and that there is sufficient existing capacity to accommodate any additional passengers. In addition, there are further bus services to/from Llandeilo town centre to other destinations such as Swansea, Carmarthen. Reference is also made to rail links.

The TIA concludes that the proposed site is well connected to the highway network serving Llandeilo and the hinterland while infrastructure should be provided to aid pedestrian/cycle movements. As part of the proposed development, a Travel Plan will be implemented for the store that relates to both employees and customers. The TIA concludes that the proposed development is acceptable from a transport perspective and will lead to benefits in terms of reduced trip lengths and increased potential for shopping trips to be undertaken by non-car travel modes whilst not resulting in any identifiable transport related difficulties as part of the TIA it is proposed to provide a shuttle bus service to the food-store to/from Llandeilo. This will be secured through the provision of a Unilateral Undertaking (UU) and it proposed that the route links with the railway station to connect with the arrival and departure of trains at Llandeilo station. It is also proposed that the UU contributes to the improvement of public rights of way within the walking catchments areas identified in the TIA.

Flood Consequence Assessment

A Flood Consequence Assessment was submitted by the applicant and this was carried out by WYG Planning Consultants. It recognises that most of the site is in a Flood Zone A and hence suitable for development. It also acknowledges that part of the site along the south west of the site is in Flood Zone C2, high risk, according to TAN15 Development Advise Map (DAM) Hydraulic modelling has identified that the flood risk zone is more extensive than shown on the TAN15 map and that the southern part of the site is below the predicted 1:100 year flood level. It is proposed to re-profile the site so that all the development is at low risk of flood; initial hydraulic analysis has shown that there will be no significant increase in risk of flooding downstream and only a minor increase in flood risk for the open fields upstream.

Following extensive deliberation with the Environment Agency, the site boundary has been amended/extended to include the two fields immediately north of the A40 and west /south of the Nant Gurrey Fach. The purpose of which would be to provide flood mitigation measures on the land to the west of the proposed supermarket comprising the formation of flood storage cells by excavating material from the adjacent agricultural field. The implication on the shceme itself is:

Replacement of the 6 pump PFS with a 4 pump PFS in order to allow the access road to take a more north-easterly alignment and associated changes to the detailed siting of the proposed bus stop;
Slight lowering of the access route to the service yard;
Incorporation of retaining structures in place of embankments, broadly along the western boundary

Incorporation of flood conveyance culverts below the access road and agricultural access to make use of flood storage to the east of the site.

The future maintenance of these structures needs to be agreed in the UU and details of the finish materials to the retaining structures will also have to be agreed.

PLANNING POLICY

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (Section 38(6)) requires that planning applications are determined in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Applications which are not in accordance with relevant policies of the development plan should not be permitted unless other material considerations indicate that planning permission should be granted. The site lies within the settlement limits of Rhosmaen, but outside the defined town centre of Llandeilo.

The relevant Welsh Assembly Planning Policy is outlined in Planning Policy Wales Edition 4 (February 2011) (PPW) and Technical Advice Note 4: ‘Retailing and Town Centres’ (1996).

Chapter 10.3 of PPW outlines the guidance Local Planning Authorities should use when determining retail applications:-

compatibility with any community strategy or up-to-date development plan strategy;

need for the development/extension, unless the proposal is for a site within a defined centre or one allocated in an up-to-date development plan;

the sequential approach to site selection;

impact on existing centres;

net gains in floorspace where redevelopment is involved, and whether or not it is like for like in terms of comparison or convenience;

rate of take-up of allocations in any adopted development plan;

accessibility by a variety of modes of travel;

improvements to public transport;

impact on overall travel patterns; and

best use of land close to any transport hub, in terms of density and mixed use.

Out of centre food supermarkets should not be allowed if their provision is likely to lead to the loss of general food retailing in the centre of smaller towns.

The proposal has been against a range of CUDP policies in particular Retail and Employment.

Employment

In strategic terms CUDP 4 – Employment Policy allocated 401 Hectares of land for employment purposes for the UDP period of 2001-16 in accordance with the Council sustainable strategic settlement framework.

Policy E1 is of relevance as the application site forms part of an allocated employment site; while Policy E 7 seeks to retain the allocations noted in Policy E1 unless:

(i) THE PROPOSED USE COULD NOT REASONABLY BE LOCATED ELSEWHERE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POLICIES OF THIS PLAN;
(ii) IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT THERE IS SUFFICIENT QUANTITY, QUALITY AND VARIETY OF EMPLOYMENT LAND OR PREMISES READILY AVAILABLE TO MEET THE ANTICIPATED REQUIREMENTS OF THE LOCAL AREA;
(iii) IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT THE SITE OR BUILDINGS ARE NOT ECONOMICALLY OR PHYSICALLY CAPABLE OF SUPPORTING INDUSTRIAL OR BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT GENERATING USES AND THAT OTHER UDP OBJECTIVES CAN BE ACHIEVED BY THE DEVELOPMENT;
(iv) THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT CREATE ANY AMENITY, HIGHWAY OR PUBLIC SERVICE PROVISION OBJECTIONS OR HAVE ANY ADVERSE IMPACT ON SURROUNDING LAND USE.

The UDP refers to out of centre retailing stating that Town Centres are not always capable of accommodating particular types of retailing such as bulky goods owing to the requirements owing to their requirements for large sites and buildings and implications for traffic generation and parking. The Carmarthenshire Retail Study (Sept 2000 and 2004 update) suggested the location of convenience floor space within selected secondary centres. This was seen as suitable to allow modern food outlets to be more accessible to a greater proportion of the County’s population. This would also link to sustainability objectives.

RETAIL

In strategic terms the key policy is CUDP 8 – Retail Policy which states:

IT IS THE POLICY OF CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL TO MAINTAIN AND ENHANCE THE EXISTING RETAIL HIERARCHY OF THE COUNTY BY PROTECTING THE VIABILITY AND VITALITY OF TOWN CENTRES AND SUPPORTING SMALL LOCAL CONVENIENCE SHOPPING FACILITIES IN RURAL AND URBAN AREAS.

While Policy R7 states:

R7 - CONVENIENCE STORES

IT IS THE POLICY OF CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL TO PERMIT CONVENIENCE STORES OF AN APPROPRIATE SCALE IN THE IDENTIFIED SECONDARY SETTLEMENTS IN LOCATIONS WITHIN OR IMMEDIATELY ADJOINING THE DEFINED TOWN CENTRES IN ACCORDANCE WITH A STRATEGY FOR THE LOCATION OF FLOORSPACE CLOSE TO THE SOURCE OF EXPENDITURE SUBJECT TO:

(i) THE SUBMISSION OF AN IMPACT ASSESSMENT TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PROPOSAL WOULD NOT HAVE AN ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF THE EXISTING RETAIL CENTRE;
(ii) EVIDENCE OF THE SEQUENTIAL TEST HAVING BEEN APPLIED TO SITE SELECTION;
(iii) TRAFFIC, AMENITY AND TOWNSCAPE CONSIDERATIONS;
(iv) THE LOCATION BEING ACCESSIBLE BY A CHOICE OF MEANS OF TRANSPORT.

The Retail Study that supported the UDP revealed that there will be capacity for additional convenience floorspace during the Plan period. The sustainable settlement framework underpinning the Plan supports a policy for locating new floorspace provision of an appropriate scale close to the source of expenditure growth thereby minimising the need to travel for essential goods and services and increasing accessibility and social inclusion. Proposals should complement and integrate with existing shopping provision in the
secondary settlements both in terms of scale and location and should not adversely affect the viability of these centres.
The strategic framework on which policies within the UDP are based is outlined in Part 1 of the document and highlights a sustainable settlement framework. A “Growth Area” and “Village Cluster” development pattern is the focus of this type of development. This is heavily influenced by a need to secure a more sustainable land use pattern in the County. Directing new development and investment to those locations that already have a range of facilities and services has the effect of minimising the distances between trip origin and destination, thus reducing the propensity for additional private car travel.

The Growth Areas are broken down into 3 categories. The first being the Urban Growth Areas of Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford/Cross Hands, the next being Secondary Settlements and finally Tertiary Settlements. Llandeilo is identified as a Secondary settlement within the UDP. The characteristics, associated with these settlements are that they are normally situated on sustainable transport corridors and/or have a range of facilities and services, providing the needs of the rural hinterland.

The proposal is located outside the defined Town Centre of Llandeilo but within the settlement limits of Rhosmaen on an allocated employment site. The potential impact of the proposal on the Town Centre, along with the need for the development and the sequential approach to site selection should be assessed. Developers should be able to demonstrate that all potential town centre options and edge of centre options have been assessed using the sequential approach.

In terms of UDP a number of additional policies are applicable. In terms of strategic policies CUDP8 applies and states that CCC aim to maintain and enhance the existing retail hierarchy of the county by protecting the viability and vitality of town centres and supporting small local convenience shopping facilities in rural and urban areas.

Policy GDC1 relates to sustainable development and aims to reduce car usage, reduce pollution and utilise vacant, underused ort previously developed land. Other general polices that apply are GDC11 and GDC12 in relation to highways and traffic aspects of the development. These require appropriate access and parking facilities, including visibility to be provided by the development as well as traffic generation that would be not detrimental to highway safety or amenity.

Policy GDC15 relates to previously developed land and contaminated land. Proposals would need to demonstrate that possible problems with the land have been investigated and that any risk to public health, safety and the environment can be managed.

Policy GDC2 is the general development policies and a number of the criteria of this policy are applicable to this development.

In terms of transport polices T1, T2, T3 and T4 apply.

Policy T1 “location of New Development” states developments which may have the potential for significant trip generation should be located within the plans existing urban areas or in locations well served by public transport and that are accessible by walking and cycling.

Policy T2 relates to major developments and requires safe and convenient pedestrian routes and cycle lanes as well as adequate provision for public transport and should seek to reduce environmental impacts such as the use of SuDS.

Policy T3 “Highways Considerations of Development” only allows developments providing the capacity of the local highway network in sufficient to serve the development without detriment to safety of road users and pedestrians and that access provision, including turning areas are of appropriate standards.

T4 “Parking Standards for New Developments” requires proposals to not exceed the maximum parking guidelines and standards.

Policy GDC30 deals with development in flood risk areas. This states that proposals within C2 flood zones will not be permitted if they are for vulnerable and/or emergency services.

In terms of landscaping considerations policies GDC19 and GDC20 apply. GDC19 relates to the retention of landscape features. This states that wherever practical developments should make appropriate provision for the retention and protection of existing trees and hedgerows of high amenity value and also for other landscape features such as watercourses, bankside vegetation and wetlands. GDC20 is concerned with landscape design. Wherever practical developments should include an appropriate and comprehensive landscape design scheme. Any approved scheme should take place within the first planting season following the commencement of development. The policy goes on to provide details of the potential contents of such schemes.

Policy UT8 of the UDP looks at surface water issues. The policy requires developments to take account of the impact of surface water drainage and water quality. In particular encouragement is given to soakaways, SUDS amongst other options. Policy UT1 “Infrastructure in New Development” states the Authority will only grant permission where infrastructure is sufficient to meet the needs of the development and that where it is available the public sewer system should be connected to for foul sewerage.

Policy EN5 addresses the protection and enhancement of flora and fauna. The Local Planning Authority should not allow proposals where they would cause harm to species or their habitats protected by legislation where positive mitigation measures cannot be provided. EN6 looks at the retention of habitats. EN9 also looks at protected species and their habitats.

The accompanying Environmental Statement provided information on these issues.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

The application was advertised by means of a Site Notice and was also advertised in the press. As noted in the summary of consultations above, the local member Cllr JJJ Davies has expressed an interest hence has made no formal comment; whilst Cllr IG Jones has not commented to date. Manordeilo & Salem Community Council has highlighted several concerns whilst Llandeilo Town Council has not formally objected to the application but has raised several concerns in relation to the proposal.

The application has been publicised by the posting of a Site Notice and a Press Notice; in total 39 individual letters of objection along with 29 standard duplicated letters replicating the issues of objection have been received to date, in addition a petition of 118 signatures opposing the scheme has been submitted. Whilst 118 individual letters of support along with 69 freepost cards (supplied by Sainsbury’s) inviting expressions of support have been submitted to date.

The grounds of objection relate to one or more of the following:-

Site designation – the land is designated for employment land in the UDP and the emerging LDP

Loss of employment land

Contrary to UDP Policy

Conclusions of the RIA not accepted

No demand/justification for the proposed food-store

Scale/size of food-store is deemed excessive for this location

Proposal is at odds with the Carmarthen retail Study (CRS)

Traffic generation

Air pollution – Generation of traffic will reduce air quality in Llandeilo

Detrimental impact on the vitality of Llandeilo Town Centre/local shops

Detrimental impact on the character of the town of Llandeilo

Visual impact

Petrol filling station not required

Increase in light pollution

Increased flood risk

CONSIDERATION OF THE MAIN ISSUES

Key issues in the determination of the application are considered to be; Retail Need & Retail Impact; Loss of Employment Land; Highway Safety and Flood Risk. Other issues will also be considered as part of this appraisal.

Retail Need & Retail Impact

Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) has been commissioned by Carmarthenshire County Council to provide an independent review of the planning application and accompanying Retail Impact Assessment (RIA) as prepared by White, Young & Green (WYG). Members will be aware that NLP has also been commissioned to review planning applications for two different food stores in Ammanford and Cross Hands. Owing to the overlapping nature of the catchment areas of these two towns NLP has reviewed the RIA both on its merits as well as the cumulative implications of other proposed foodstores. Members will also be aware that NLP has previously advised the authority on a number of retail proposals as well as preparing the 2009 Carmarthenshire Retail Study (CRS), already referred to in WYG’s assessment.

Objectors deem the proposal does not take into account the Carmarthenshire Retail Study (CRS) and as such is deemed at odds with the aims/objectives of the CRS.

NLP acknowledge that WYG has used the Carmarthenshire Retail Study (CRS) as the starting point for its RA and has identified Zone 6 (Llandeilo & Llandovery) as the primary catchment area (PCA) of the proposed store. NLP acknowledge that WYG has adopted the population figures contained in the CRS which are still considered appropriate. However NLP does highlight the inconsistency between expenditure figures presented by WYG to those presented by GVA in the Ammanford food store proposal. WYG adopt a convenience goods sales density for Sainsbury’s of £11,806 per sq m (2009 prices) which is slightly lower than NLP’s latest estimate of £12,359 per sq m at the same price, the same can also be said for the comparison goods sales density; however NLP considers the difference in the aforementioned figures is not significant, hence have accepted WYG’s estimate of the store’s actual turnover.

The Carmarthenshire Retail Study (CRS) 2009 has identified a need for limited retail floorspace in all but the two main settlements in the county, namely Carmarthen and Llanelli. As part of its evaluation of the assessment for the Llandeilo store, NLP has considered the need for the store in isolation and also in addition to the other proposed stores.

Convenience & Comparison Goods Retail Capacity

Strong concerns have been expressed by third parties over the perceived lack of demand / justification for a proposed food-store in Llandeilo and for that purpose concerns have been expressed at the scale/size of proposed food-store which objectors deem to be excessive for this location. In allowing a proposal of this nature objectors feel strongly that it would have a detrimental impact on the vitality of Llandeilo Town Centre/local shops and a detrimental impact on the character of the town of Llandeilo. In view of the above concerns, the authority has scrutinised closely the retail assessment and NLP’s evaluation of the retail assessment as this by far would seem to be the most contentious matter raised by third parties. It would be unfair not to advise Members that the authority also received numerous letters of support from third parties highlighting a strong opinion that store of this scale would also be beneficial to the town.

WYG anticipate that the Sainsbury’s draw (convenience and comparison goods) will predominantly come from main food stores in Carmarthen (26%), the Co-op in Llandovery (18%), the Co-op in Llandeilo (17%) and food stores (presumably Tesco) in Ammanford (13%)

In assessing the impact of the store in terms of convenience goods retail capacity, NLP broadly agrees with the levels of trade diversion assumed by WYG, who conclude that the proposed development will have an impact of 3.6% on the turnover of Llandeilo town centre and a 3.0% impact on the Llandovery town centre. NLP agrees that most impact will be on out-of-centre stores such as Tesco in Carmarthen which do not materially contribute to the vitality and viability of the town centre; furthermore the impact on these stores is not a retail planning consideration. It is highlighted however that these stores are considered to be trading well and above company average benchmark levels.

In terms of comparison goods capacity, WYG cite that the CRS identifies a need for 887 sq m of new comparison retail floorspace in 2016, which exceeds the amount of comparison goods floorspace identified in the proposed store (478 sq m). WYG also considers that there will be £5.2m of surplus comparison goods expenditure capacity in the Primary Catchment Area (PCA) which also exceeds the estimated comparison goods turnover of the store of £3.6m. NLP estimate that around 48% of the store’s convenience goods turnover will be derived from Zone 6 (Llandeilo & Llandovery) and if the same trade draw were applies to the comparison goods element of the proposal, this would indicate that around £1.7m of comparison goods expenditure would be drawn from Zone 6 (Llandeilo & Llandovery) to the new store; a penetration rate of 4% of all comparison goods expenditure from the zone. NLP concludes that there is sufficient expenditure capacity for the comparison goods floorspace proposed within the store.

In this context the authority considers that the trading impact of the proposed Sainsbury’s store will not result in a significant detrimental effect on the vitality and viability of the town centre. The authority accepts NLP’s conclusions that there will be a minimal impact on the sale of comparison goods, however this will not lead to a huge detriment to the town centre of Llandeilo. It is recommended that a condition be imposed on any permission to restrict the amount of comparison goods floorspace within the store in order to control impact on the town centre and ensure the nature of the food store does not change significantly.

Furthermore, the authority accepts the assessment conclusions that the store will not adversely affect the historic interest in the town or its role as a tourist destination.

Qualitative Need

What was visibly evident from the response of third parties, is that a high number of respondents clearly welcomed such a proposal as it would limit their need to travel further afield ie Carmarthen, Cross Hands and/or Ammanford to do their weekly shopping. This clearly reiterates the findings of both WYG and NLP retail impact assessments which evidences approximately 50% leakage of expenditure outside of the Primary Catchment Areas of Llandeilo/Llandovery

WYG set out their qualitative need for the proposed foodstore in their Retail Impact Assessment; this includes:

Widening the choice of local shopping facilities

Supporting the role of Llandeilo as a secondary settlement

Reducing existing above average trading within existing stores

Reducing the need to travel

Provision of local jobs

NLP agrees that the proposed store would achieve all of the above and also consider that there are qualitative benefits of a large food store in Llandeilo to reduce the leakage to the large food stores in Carmarthen and Ammanford.

Sequential approach

The application site lies within the developments limits as depicted by Inset Plan S4 of the UDP which also delineates the town centre of the town. Policy R7 refers to sites within or immediately adjoining town centres of secondary settlements and a sequential approach to site selection should be applied. The proposed store is located some 550m north of the defined town centre which is essentially a triangle of three streets of built up frontage with little or no opportunity for redevelopment. Adjoining land is also built up or dedicated open spaces, such as the Churchyard and the development of the Co-op store some years ago, mid way between the application site and the town centre was an acceptance of this fact. As most of the town centre is within a Conservation Area the development of large buildings that would be required for retail use in such a sensitive area compounds the difficulty of site selection within or adjacent the town centre. .

NLP also acknowledge that Llandeilo is a small compact town with a steep topography and this affects the sequential sites located within or close to the town centre. It acknowledges that the store will be located approximately 550 m north of the town centre hence is considered to be an out-of-centre site in PPW policy terms. WYG state that the minimum size of site that could accommodate a main food store is 1.5 ha, even though the proposed application site is 2.9 ha.

NLP agrees with WYG’s assessment that there are no in-centre units or sites that are suitable or available for a new food store to cater for main food shopping needs. In terms of edge of centre sites, Llandeilo Market Hall has been identifies as being available as it currently being marketed, however NLP agree with WYG’s assessment that at 0.3 ha it is too small to accommodate a main food store. In terms of distance and connectivity to the town centre, out-of centre sites have also been considered such as the Ffairfach Industrial site; however NLP considers the said site does not offer any benefits over the application site hence agrees that in terms of the sequential approach to site selection it is not sequentially preferable to the application site. The Northern Development Quarter has also been looked at by WYG, which is proposed as a housing allocation within the local plan. NLP agree with WYG’s assessment that the site would not offer any material benefits to the application site in terms of its relationship with the town centre and the sequential approach.

In terms of the retail sequential approach NLP agree with WYG’s conclusion that there are no sequentially preferable sites that are suitable, available and viable within or around the town of Llandeilo. NLP acknowledges that any proposals on alternative sites such as the Ffairfach site and Northern Development Quarter could offer other planning benefits, however there is no retail policy reason why the application should be refused on sequential test grounds.

Cumulative Assessment

As already highlighted, three applications for food stores have been appraised by NLP on a consistent basis to allow for direct comparison. Members are advised that the proposed Llandeilo Sainsbury’s store and the proposed store in Ammanford are of similar size and have similar expected convenience goods turnovers; in contrast the proposed store in Cross Hands is significantly larger with a benchmark convenience goods turnover around twice that of the other two proposed stores.

NLP concludes that from a qualitative need perspective, the most pressing need for a new large food store is in Llandeilo; furthermore NLP concludes that such a store in Llandeilo would also help to serve Llandovery. It is acknowledged that there is potential expenditure capacity to support new floor space, primarily through increasing market shares in all three catchment areas. NLP concludes that the scale of the stores proposed in Ammanford and Llandeilo appear to best match the potential available expenditure capacity, but this in turn will reduce potential in other towns. It is acknowledged that the proposed Cross Hands store creates the largest expenditure deficit, primarily owing to its scale in relation to the other two proposals.

In terms of sequential assessment, NLP are of the opinion that it is not possible to make a preference between the three proposals because they serve different needs/catchment areas. Based on the CRS, NLP has undertaken an analysis of different scenarios to assess the cumulative implications on expenditure capacity ie assessing the implication of two or all three stores being developed. NLP concludes that in quantitative terms there is insufficient convenience goods expenditure capacity to support more than one food store. The two store scenarios create a combined convenience goods expenditure deficit of between -£19.49m to -£36.15m. The two and three store development scenarios suggest there will be a very high cumulative impact on existing convenience shopping facilities both within and outside town centres.

As already indicated, NLP considers the need for a new large food store appears to be most pressing in Llandeilo, and this development scenario is likely to have the most evenly spread impact. In the light of the absence of quantitative capacity, NLP consider it unlikely that all three proposals would proceed, even if they were granted consent.

At the time the Llandeilo proposal was submitted Sainsbury’s was the named operator, but the Cross Hands and Ammanford developments did not specify the operator; it has now been confirmed that Sainsbury have signed contract for the Cross Hands store (subject to planning), and will (subject to planning) have two stores operating within ten miles of each other. The close proximity of these stores, both of which will come forward at similar times, will result in the stores trading density being reduced.  Sainsbury’s predict the stores will each turnover at 80% of their national average trading density which influences the assumptions on turnover and impact which are relevant considerations in determining the applications.

NLP does advise that it may be possible that two stores could proceed, but the cumulative impact of this scenario would need to be carefully considered. In its final remarks, NLP highlight that based on retail planning issues only, it believes the proposed Llandeilo store has the most retail related benefits.

Loss of employment land

A focus of considerable objection from third parties is the proposal to site a retail store on land allocated for employment use within the UDP; objectors therefore deem the proposal to be contrary to UDP policy as it would lead to the loss of employment land.

It is acknowledged by the Local Planning Authority that the land currently forms part of a designated employment land allocation (S4/E3) in the current Unitary Development Plan, which effectively serves as an extension of the adjacent Beechwood Industrial Estate. That designation has also carried through to the emerging Local Development Plan (LDP).

The Forward Planning Manager has advised that the application site is identified as an employment site in the Unitary Development (the plan period covers 2001-2016), and the area in the allocation amounts to 5.30 ha and expanded on the allocation in the previous Dinefwr Local Plan which was adopted back in 1998. None of the additional land allocated in the UDP has since been developed and part of the original Dinefwr Local Plan allocation remains undeveloped. Other sites in the Llandeilo area allocated for employment amounts to 2.59 ha emerging LDP does not expand on the allocation at the Beechwood site given that there has been no interest in the development site during the UDP Plan period to date. The allocations in the LDP are evidenced by an employment study commissioned by the authority.

The said study had been undertaken from a strategic and policy context for industrial and employment land in Carmarthenshire County and based on the review of national, regional and local policy, as well as an assessment of current supply and demand in conjunction with environmental considerations and sustainability factors. The core elements of the methodology comprised the following:

Strategic Context – a review of the strategic planning and economic context of relevance to the study, exploring policy and strategy documents from the national to the local scale.

Commercial Property Review – Atkins Ltd, sub-contracted specialist property consultants, Lambert Smith Hampton, to complete a review of the commercial property market across the region, focusing specifically on the role of Carmarthenshire and exploring the market characteristics within the County. Core areas reviewed encompassed the current stock of employment land and premises; trends and market conditions influencing current and future land and property requirements; shortfalls in quality, type and/or location of provision; market-based opportunities; inward investment; requirements for gap funding by the public sector; key contributors to the area’s economy; and potential key development locations.

Assessment of Existing Employment Land Supply – Atkins Ltd conducted a series of site visits to all existing and proposed employment land identified by CCC. A total of 169 sites were visited and assessed in terms of suitability for employment use taking a broad range of accessibility, environmental and siting considerations into account. The findings have been recorded on a database that forms a dynamic tool for CCC to carry forward through plan preparation; the snapshot of information informing this study has been captured in data analysis and mapping;

Future Business Needs – economists within Atkins undertook an assessment of the Carmarthenshire economy to inform the scale, location and type of employment premises required to facilitate growth and development. A combination of statistical analysis, trend projection and scenario-forecasting has been used to quantify future employment land needs, taking into account the findings of the strategic context and commercial property review.

Future Employment Sites Supply Requirements – drawing all of the preceding work together, the assessment of future employment sites requirements presents a portfolio of sites designed to complement existing employment land supply in order to offer choice and flexibility in meeting projected employment needs. The site evaluation process has enabled consideration of site sustainability factors in selecting the portfolio, whilst the economic and market appraisal work has informed the quantum and type of development recommended.

The data (887 different premises were identified as being in use and a further 227 as vacant) across the 169 sites surveyed reveals a number of interesting characteristics:

Overall vacancy across all of the sites surveyed has been calculated at 20.6%;

Carmarthen exhibits a settlement vacancy rate that is broadly comparable to the County average (20%); whereas Llanelli has a lower rate (15.1%) and Ammanford/Crosshands has a considerably higher rate (23.6%);

Burry Port/Pembrey, Llandeilo/ Ffairfach/ Rhosmaen/ Nantyrhibo and Pontyberem have exceptionally high area-based vacancy rates at 78.4%, 48.6% and 44.4%, respectively;

Planning Policy Wales Edition 4 (February 2011) states that in designating land for employment needs, local planning authorities should address such issues as the phasing of development and the availability of infrastructure against an agreed identified ‘requirement’. Some local planning authorities have allocations of land for employment and other uses which cannot realistically be taken up in the quantities envisaged over the lifetime of the development plan. Local planning authorities should therefore review all their non-housing allocations when preparing or reviewing their development plans and consider whether some of this land might be better used for housing or mixed use developments or no longer be designated for development. (Par 7.2.1)

PPW also states that in recognising the need for an industrial land bank, and that certain industrial uses have characteristics that preclude their location in mixed use areas, sites designated for industrial development should not be used for other single purposes such as retail, leisure or housing development that could be located elsewhere. Other sites within urban areas which have extant, but unimplemented, permissions for commercial or retailing uses may be suitable for housing (or other) development that could help bring vitality to urban centres. (Par 7.2.7)

Furthermore, PPW states that for planning purposes the Welsh Government defines economic development as development of land and buildings for activities that generate wealth, jobs and incomes. Economic land uses include the traditional employment land uses (offices, research and development, industry and warehousing), as well as retail, leisure, and public services. It is essential that the planning system considers, and makes provision for, the needs of the entire economy and not just those uses defined under parts B1-B8 of the Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order. (Par 7.1.1)

The aforementioned guidance in PPW demonstrates the importance the Welsh Government places on the recovery of the economy and the role that other uses have in job creation over and above the more industrial and manufacturing development. The Forward Planning Manager highlights that UDP Policy R7 supports the provision of appropriately sized convenience stores in the secondary settlements, hence advises that the proposal would appear to accord with the UDP and there would therefore be no policy objections to the application subject to compliance with the criteria presented in policy R7.

Turning to the issue of the proposal being sited on land allocated for employment purposes, reference is drawn to UDP Policy E7 - Retention of Employment Land - which serves principally to protect existing employment undertakings from pressures for redevelopment or change of use to such uses as, for example, residential. It also serves to prevent the encroachment of other uses onto land allocated for employment to ensure an appropriate land supply for this purpose unless:

(i) The proposed use could not reasonably be located elsewhere.

(ii) There is alternative employment land to meet the requirements of the local area.

In terms of criterion (i) above, the sequential test has demonstrated in accordance with policy that the application site is the nearest available location to the town centre that can accommodate the proposal. In this respect, an alternative siting further distant from the town centre would not satisfy the sequential requirement such that the proposal could not reasonably be located elsewhere.

With regard to criterion (ii), the employment land on which the proposal is sited was allocated in the Carmarthenshire UDP (2006) and extended the area previously allocated in the Dinefwr Local Plan (1998). In that period as already highlighted, none of the UDP allocation together with part of that in the Dinefwr plan has been taken up for employment purposes.

The Employment Study previously referred to currently being undertaken for the emerging LDP indicates a requirement for a total of 34 ha. of employment land in the county during the plan period to 2021. The LDP allocates substantially more than this for contingency purposes and to ensure that opportunities for the establishment or expansion of employment undertakings are not constrained or lost by the unavailability of land in required locations. In Llandeilo, there are 2.59 ha. of land allocated for employment purposes in addition to the application site. Furthermore, Policy E4 of the UDP permits small-scale employment undertakings outside the development limits of settlements on land not specifically allocated in the plan. The Forward Planning Manager therefore considers that appropriate opportunities for new employment sites would remain if this proposal were to proceed. In conjunction with the fact that Policy R7 of the Unitary Development Plan supports the provision of appropriately sized convenience stores in secondary settlements such as Llandeilo, the Forward Planning Manager has advised that the proposal would appear to accord with the UDP, as such there would be no policy objection to the application as it complies with the relevant policies namely Policies R7, E4 & E7 of the of the UDP.

In conclusion the two main issues that arise in looking at the proposal from the land use perspective are:

● As the site is allocated for employment what material considerations arise to set aside this aspect of the UDP
● To what extent would the approval of the sire for retail and resultant loss of employment land impact on the employment strategy of the UDP and LDP

UDP

The WG is presently revising planning policy for economic development to make sure that it can deliver their aspirations for economic recovery in Wales. This work has been informed by a research report, Planning for Sustainable Economic Renewal. This report was written for us by Roger Tym and Partners in association with Asbri Planning. For planning purposes the Welsh Government defines economic development in the document as development of land and buildings for activities that creates wealth, jobs and incomes. Economic land uses include the traditional employment land uses (offices, research and development, industry and warehousing), as well as retail, leisure, and public services. It stresses that the planning system considers, and makes provision for, the needs of the entire economy and not just those uses defined under parts B1-B8 of the Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order.
While this document is in draft it highlights the importance of economic activity in job creation and this is a material factor in looking at the application. The Local Planning Authority need to weigh up the prospect of the early delivery of employment, albeit retail jobs, with protecting the site for job creation in the future because it’s allocation in the UDP. As the planning history demonstrated there has been no indication of the area being developed and bringing forward jobs.
Supporting documents accompanying the application give an indicative figure of 200 – 250 jobs to be created, the majority of these would be part-time employees, however it is suggested that approximately 50 of these would be senior/core/FT staff (managers, leaders/pharmacy etc).

It is also noted that this figure does not take into account any increase of jobs created during the construction phase.

The proposal includes the commitment by Sainsbury’s to enter into a Local Labour Agreement (LLA) with Carmarthenshire County Council and Jobcentre Plus. A meeting with JCP on the matter confirmed that that no contact has been made by Sainsbury’s as yet to JCP either nationally or locally, however it’s understood that typically a JCP Account Manager is appointed to Sainsbury’s to manage all aspects of recruitment. This commitment and collaboration is aimed at maximising the number of jobs created at the store which would be filled by local people.

Ammanford Job Centre has recently handled the Tesco’s expansion in Ammanford - JCP received 1600 applications for the new store of which 140 were recruited. It’s anticipated by JCP that for the 200-250 job requirement Sainsbury’s would have significant interest and its felt that recruitment could be derived from many areas including the 3 higher unemployment wards mentioned by Sainsbury’s – Llandybie; Garnant and Ammanford plus the environs of Llandeilo and of course the wider rural economy. Current claimant figures at Ammanford JCP are 930 individuals – the majority of whom are based in the 3 unemployment wards.

Employment strategy

Set against the context of the CUDP – Employment Policy which allocated over 400 Ha as employment land the loss of the site is not considered critical; the majority of this land however is within the three main growth areas. It is the Sustainable Strategic Settlement Framework which is the overarching consideration and Llandeilo as a secondary settlement has a role to play. Monitoring to date has not indicated any pressure to identify additional land and as part of the LDP process The Employment Study undertaken for the emerging LDP indicates a requirement for a total of 34 ha. of employment land in the county during the plan period to 2021. The LDP allocates substantially more than this for contingency purposes and to ensure that opportunities for the establishment or expansion of employment undertakings are not constrained or lost by the unavailability of land in required locations. In Llandeilo, there are 2.59 ha. of land allocated for employment purposes in addition to the application site. Furthermore, Policy E4 of the UDP permits small-scale employment undertakings outside the development limits of settlements on land not specifically allocated in the plan. The Forward Planning Manager therefore considers that appropriate opportunities for new employment sites would remain if this proposal were to proceed. In conjunction with the fact that Policy R7 of the Unitary Development Plan supports the provision of appropriately sized convenience stores in secondary settlements such as Llandeilo, the Forward Planning Manager has advised that the proposal would appear to accord with the UDP, as such there would be no policy objection to the application as it complies with the relevant policies namely Policies R7, E4 & E7 of the of the UDP.

Notwithstanding this the application if approved will be referred to the Welsh Government under the Shopping Directive providing the Welsh Government with an opportunity to assess the issue.

Increased flood risk

As already referred to, a Flood Consequence Assessment (FCA) was submitted in conjunction with the application; from a flooding context, the majority of the site lies within a Flood Zone A and deemed acceptable for development. However, part of the site along the south west of the site is in Flood Zone C2, which is recognised as high risk, according to TAN15 Development Advise Map (DAM). Hydraulic modelling has identified that the flood risk zone is more extensive than shown on the TAN15 map and that the southern part of the site is below the predicted 1:100 year flood level.

The Environment Agency initially objected to the application on the basis that the proposed drainage strategy did not comply with the requirements of TAN15 and the suggested mitigation measures to negate the effect on other landowners had not been adequately demonstrated. Following the submission of amended plans and revised mitigation measures the agency has reversed its initial observations. The FCA has identified the changes to the flood regime as a result of the proposed development, and the revised mitigation scheme now proposes compensatory storage on adjacent land. For that purpose the site boundary has been amended/extended to include the two fields immediately north of the A40 and west /south of the Nant Gurrey Fach. The purpose of which would be to provide flood mitigation measures on the land to the west of the proposed supermarket comprising the formation of flood storage cells by excavating material from the adjacent agricultural field.

The Environment Agency has confirmed that subject to no development occurring on the two fields in question and the mitigation measures implemented as detailed within the FCA, they have removed their initial objection to the proposal on flood risk grounds. The agency has also advised the imposition of suitable conditions with regard to surface water drainage works; provision of a scheme for the management of the buffer zone alongside the Nant Gurrey Fach; waste management and pollution prevention measures. In addition, the agency has advised the imposition of further conditions specifically related to the petrol filling station.

In view of the above, the authority is satisfied that the flooding matters have been suitably addressed and the proposal considered an acceptable form of development under TAN15 and Policy GDC30 of the Local Plan.

Highway Safety

As already highlighted this planning application was originally scheduled to be presented before the 2 February 2012 Planning Committee but was subsequently withdrawn for consideration following receipt of a ‘holding direction’ from the Welsh Government Trunk Road Agency. The Trunk Road Agency highlighting its reasons for implementing the holding direction as requiring further time to fully consider amended information relating to flood occurrence and pedestrian provision.

In terms of third party representations, concerns have been raised in relation to traffic generation, particularly through the town of Llandeilo, and the potential impact of the development on highway safety.

The authority is mindful that the submitted Transport Assessment concludes that the proposed site is well connected to the highway network serving Llandeilo and the hinterland while infrastructure should be provided to aid pedestrian/cycle movements. As part of the proposed development, a Travel Plan will be implemented for the store that relates to both employees and customers. The TIA concludes that the proposed development is acceptable from a transport perspective and will lead to benefits in terms of reduced trip lengths and increased potential for shopping trips to be undertaken by non-car travel modes whilst not resulting in any identifiable transport related difficulties.

As part of the development, the existing vehicular access off the A40/A483 roundabout will be reconfigured to accommodate the new internal road arrangement to serve both the food store, petrol filling station and the service area. Furthermore, as part of the overall scheme, a signal controlled pedestrian crossing is proposed for the A40 Trunk road to facilitate pedestrian movement to/from the site. The Authority is mindful that the Trunk Road Agency has expressed reservations over the proposed controlled pedestrian crossing in such close proximity to the A40/A483 roundabout and tabled the notion of a bridge crossing at this location which the agent/applicant is keen to resist owing to the additional cost implication of such a provision. The agency has been in negotiation with WYG over this matter and at the time of the previous application resolution had yet to be found; as a result the matter has now been reviewed and Capita Symonds have been commissioned by SWTRA to review the requirement of the proposed at-grade traffic signal controlled crossing.

Capita Symonds state that the basis for the proposed traffic signal controlled pedestrian crossing is the predicted pedestrian movements between Llandeilo and the proposed retail development; and the recommendations from the NMU Audit. The controlled pedestrian crossing would provide a crossing route across the A40 to the proposed development on the pedestrian desire line. It is acknowledged that although the bridge and underpass options would separate pedestrian and vehicular movements, these options are much more expensive and may not prevent pedestrians crossing the carriageway at carriageway level.

As stated in TA91/05, bridges should only be provided when other forms of crossing are deemed inappropriate; and based on traffic flows, speeds and safety audit comments alternative crossing provision is acceptable. Capita Symonds confirms that of the options the developer indicates, the traffic signal controlled pedestrian crossing would be the most suitable solution. However, based on the traffic flow information supplied by Connect Consultancy within the transport assessment, it would appear there may be large enough gaps within the traffic for non-motorist users (NMU’s) to cross the A40 west of the A40/A483 roundabout without too much difficulty, especially if NMU’s cross the carriageway in two halves.

Therefore, as the proposed development has yet to be built and the NMU usage across the A40 west of the A40/A483 roundabout is based on predicted NMU usage (from TRICS), an alternative option, to be conditioned as part of the planning permission, could be considered. This alternative recommends initially installing uncontrolled crossing points (dropped kerbs and tactile paving), nearer to the roundabout than the controlled pedestrian crossing as indicated by Connect Consultancy

Capita Symonds advise further that following discussion with road safety experts, an uncontrolled crossing would require speed reducing features on the A40 west approach to the uncontrolled crossing together with an extension of the existing 40 mph zone at least 100 metres from its current location, this in addition to high friction surfacing in the same colour as the road surface on its approach. Also a clear visibility splay needs to be created from the A483 approach to the crossing point (removal of existing trees, etc.) and throughout the roundabout.

In view of the above, it is clear that Capita Symonds have no objection with the proposed signalled crossing or the phased approach which could be achieved via condition or by way of legal agreement. At the time of writing, the authority is still awaiting the formal response of the Trunk Road Agency in relation to the Capita Symonds review; the agency has however indicated to the authority that it accepts in principle the findings of the Capita Symonds review and the original request for a bridge crossing is likely to be rescinded. The Trunk Road Agency has highlighted to the authority that the matter concerning flood storage remains outstanding, however it is hopeful once the flooding matter has been resolved the authority will be furnished with the agency’s formal response.

Ecology

In terms of ecology, it is acknowledged that the site does not occupy a sensitive ecological site; submitted plans do show an 8m easement area between the Nant Gurrey Fach and the development. Due to the site’s proximity to the aforementioned watercourse, ecological surveys were submitted in conjunction with the application; in terms of riparian mammals, no evidence of either otter or water vole was recorded along the Nant Gurrey Fach or the adjacent buffer. The survey states that the river banks running alongside the application site boundary provide suitable habitat for otters and the Environment Agency has provided observations relating to the said survey.

The Council’s Biodiversity Officer has advised that it is the policy of Carmarthenshire County Council that development will not be permitted where it would cause demonstrable harm to species or their habitats protected by legislation and where appropriate positive mitigation measures cannot be provided. Furthermore it is the policy of Carmarthenshire County Council that any development that is likely to have an adverse effect on protected species or habitats or habitat or species recognised in either the UK Biodiversity Action Plan or the Carmarthenshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan, will not be permitted unless it can be clearly demonstrated that there are reasons for the proposal which outweigh the need to safeguard the nature conservation value of the site or feature.

In addition Planning Policy Wales (section 5.2) indicates that local planning authorities should further the conservation of habitats and species of principal importance through their planning function. Technical Advice Note 5 (nature conservation and planning) states that a key principle for positive planning for nature conservation should look for development to provide a net benefit for biodiversity conservation with no significant loss of habitats or populations of species, locally or nationally.

From an ecological perspective, the site is made up of an agriculturally improved field partly bordered by a defunct hedgerow and hedge line of broadleaved trees of mature oak, willow, hazel and blackthorn. To the south the Nant Gurrey Fach stream forms part of the boundary. A ditch runs alongside the north-west/northern boundary and this eventually goes into the Nant Gurrey. An additional adjacent area has been identified to the west of the site for flood water storage. This again an agriculturally improved field with the northern boundary adjacent to the Nant Gurrey Fach. Hedgerows here contain hazel and blackthorn and holly with hedgerow trees. The hedgerows and watercourse could be considered as BAP habitats on site

The proposed site is immediately adjacent to the Nant Gurrey. This watercourse is hydrologically linked with the River Tywi, a Special Area of Conservation. As a competent authority under Regulation 61 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010) Carmarthenshire County Council has to consider the impacts of the proposed development on the features for which the SAC is designated. The Afon Tywi Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is hydrologically connected to the site and is located 320 m to the south east of the proposed supermarket location.

In view of the above, a Test of Likely Significant Effect (TLSE) has been produced by the Council’s Biodiversity Officer; in addition CCW have been consulted on the application with specific reference to the impacts to the SSSI/SAC. At the time of writing the authority is still awaiting the formal response of CCW in relation to the aforementioned TLSE.

In terms of species, the Biodiversity Officer acknowledges that no signs of badgers were identified within the original application site but an outlier badger set was identified adjacent to the Nant Gurrey Fach close to the additional flood mitigation area. Some of the trees on site possess features suitable to support roosting bats and three were identified to have moderate bat roosting potential but none were identified as having bats (daytime assessment only). It is likely that the site provides foraging and commuting habitat for bats, in particular the tree-lined north western boundary and the Nant Gurrey Fach. There is limited habitat for amphibians on site as the ditches and existing attenuation pond were dry and heavily shaded, respectively at the time of survey. There was no evidence of reptiles during the survey and the only the boundary features could offer sub-optimal habitat for grass snake and slow worm. No evidence of otters and water voles were found along the Nant Gurrey Fach., however it is assumed that otters could use the watercourse as a commuting corridor. Birds and invertebrate activity was concentrated to the boundary features.

The Biodiversity Officer has advised that during the creation of the flood compensation area it will be necessary to close the outlier badger sett; this will require a development licence application from CCW and will require a method statement and careful timing of work. The immediate area surrounding the sett must be protected for the duration of the work to create the flood compensation area. The vegetation on this application site may potentially be used by nesting birds; again it is recommended that advisory NOTE(S) are imposed advising the applicant that under the Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) it is an offence to kill or injure any wild bird, take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built.

In terms of habitats, all hedgerows and boundary hedgerow trees are to be retained and enhanced as part of the development. The Biodiversity Officer has emphasized the need to ensure good connectivity with adjacent hedgerows leading offsite are maintained and enhanced where possible and for that reason has advised the imposition of a suitable condition to ensure their enhancement and management are included in the required habitat management plan. It is acknowledged that approximately 170 m of new hedgerow are to be planted and existing hedgerows strengthened and it is recommended that all new hedgerows should be planted using suitable, local provenance species, especially blackthorn for the brown hairstreak butterfly. The plans show an 8m buffer between the stream and the development, to be grassed and managed as floodplain grassland and the authority is mindful that the watercourse must be protected during construction and pollution prevention measures incorporated into the scheme to ensure that the integrity of the watercourse; this is to be carried out in line with the landscape strategy plan.

With regard to European Protected Species, all trees are to be retained along with foraging and commuting habitat and this will be protected whilst development is taking place. The Biodiversity Officer has advised that the construction and operational phase lighting scheme for the development must include measures to reduce the potential impacts of lighting on bats and their commuting and foraging habitat; furthermore, there should be no direct lighting on to the watercourse.

In view of the TLSE undertaken by the authority’s Biodiversity Officer, additional conditions are to be included that for the submission and approval of a Construction Environmental Management Plan and a Habitat Management Plan that includes all the recommended action for the future conservation and enhancement of the retained and new habitats on site as described; the Habitat Management Plan should be for 20 years.

Other areas of concern

Air pollution from the perceived increase in traffic generation was another area of concern raised by third parties and as part of the submission a Air Quality Assessment accompanied the planning application.

The Environmental Health (Scientific officer) has advised that the submitted Air Quality Assessment is accepted as a verified model with appropriate input data; and also advised that the Authority has not as yet designated and Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) within Llandeilo. The Scientific Officer has recommended that the mitigation measures proposed in the AQA be conditioned as part of any planning consent. The Environmental Health (Pollution Control Officer) has considered the findings of the Air Quality Assessment (AQA) and acknowledges the conclusions of the report that the development will result in a ‘minor adverse’ impact on the locality. It is also considered that the proposed petrol filling station will not result in a significant adverse contribution to air quality.

Visual impact has also been raised as an area of concern; and a landscape & Visual Impact Assessment has been submitted in conjunction with the application. The site is located on the edge of the town and bounded by open countryside to the north and west and will be visible when viewed from the adjacent A40 highway a landscaping scheme including the retention of the majority of mature trees/hedgerows along the perimeter of the site will ensure that the visual impact of the food store and associated development will be minimal in this instance. By virtue of existing vegetation around the site, the development will not be visible when viewed from the wider area.

The development proposal accords with the general criteria of Policy GDC2 and Policy GDC19, in that the design of the development is appropriate to its location and uses materials appropriate to the character of the area. The proposed store is of a sympathetic design and incorporates design elements which take into account both the rural and urban character of the surrounding area as well as locality. The use of timber cladding was prompted by the use of a similar material on nearby units; albeit smaller in scale they are not conspicuous. It is inevitable however a development of this scale will be evident however it should be noted the site is designated for employment use and building of this scale may well be a possibility should the site come forward for employment use.

The site adjoins the northern edge of the development limits of Llandeilo separated by the A40 bypass and the attractive quality of the surrounding countryside, to the east of the application site is reflected in its designation in the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan 2006 (UDP) as a Special Landscape Area (SLA). This area in turn abuts the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Policy EN16 of the Plan seeks to protect such SLAs from harm to their character or appearance. The site does not fall within the boundary of the Towy Valley SLA and is relatively flat with existing development to the east and the southern boundary is the A40 trunk road. The proposed incorporation of the application site within development limits, albeit for employment land, has also established the principle of development on the application site having been considered and decided upon through the Development Plan process. Existing landscape features, particularly around the periphery of the site are to be retained which will mitigate the visual impact of the development; hard and soft landscaping has been incorporated as part of the overall design the latter again lessening the impact of the store and associated structures. In terms of the immediate area and the wider context such as the National Park and Tywi Valley SLA or any other designated landscapes the development’s impact is not considered to be significant.

CONCLUSION

Taken literally, the proposal would conflict with development plan policy in respect loss of employment land and the site’s position relative to the town centre. However, the use of an employment allocated site for retail purposes to be acceptable in this instance as there would be sufficient employment land remaining to serve Llandeilo and the wider area, while providing additional net job opportunities in the short term. Furthermore UDP policy supports the provision of appropriately sized convenience stores in secondary settlements such as Llandeilo and the site proposed while not adjacent the town centre was identified as a result of a sequential approach.

The retail impact assessment submitted in support of the application has been the subject of scrutiny by independent planning consultants (NLP) commissioned by the authority whose detailed analysis concludes that there shall be minimal impact upon the vitality and viability of the existing Llandeilo town centre. NLP in its evaluation of this proposal along with the two retail proposals in Cross Hands and Ammanford, considers the need for a new large food store appears to be most pressing in Llandeilo, and highlights that based on retail planning issues only, the proposed Llandeilo store has the most retail related benefits. The recommendation of both for approval for this proposal and that in Cross Hands is a matter that merited careful consideration and further justification is outlined in the application for Cross Hands, in terms of Llandeilo the scheme is acceptable in impact a position assisted by the recent confirmation that both will be operated by Sainsbury with the resultant reduction in turnover.

After careful consideration of the site and its surrounding environs in the context of this application, together with the representations received to date it is considered that on balance the proposal is acceptable in that it accords with policy as it has demonstrated that the development would not have an unacceptable impact on the surrounding rural landscape.

The proposal is well served by other infrastructure and there are no utility service objections, the flooding issues have been resolved and due to its location, the proposed store would cause minimal detriment to the amenities of the area.

On balance and considering the proposal against the relevant local and national planning policies, and taking into account all other material considerations, the proposal is considered to offer benefits which outweigh potential adverse implications and is therefore recommended for approval subject to:

Final details of the Unilateral Undertaking.
Response from the Welsh Government as regards the shopping directive.
Satisfactory resolution of the outstanding highway issue.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

1 The development hereby permitted shall be commenced before the expiration of five years from the date of this permission.

2 A sample/detailed specification of all proposed external facing materials to be used in the development hereby permitted shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority prior to commencement of development.

3 No more than 478 sqm. of the net sales floors-pace excluding checkouts, lobbies etc of the proposed new store shall be dedicated to the sale of comparison goods.

4 Any proposed mezzanine floor shall require the submission of a further application for planning permission.

5 The access, car parking spaces, cycle lock-up facilities and layout shown on plan (ref 7735_011 PL 004/D) herewith approved, shall be wholly provided prior to the new retail store being brought into first use, or other period that may be agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority. The car and cycle parking facilities shall thereafter be retained, unobstructed, for the purpose of parking only.

6 Prior to the new retail store being brought into first use, the proposed pedestrian crossing on the A40 trunk road, or any other form of crossing as agreed in writing with the Local Planning shall be fully implemented in strict accordance with details to be submitted.

7 All planting, seeding or turfing comprised in the approved details of landscaping (Landscape Proposals) shall be carried out in the first planting and seeding season following the completion of the development and any trees or plants which within a period of 5 years from the commencement of the development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variations and thereafter shall be retained in perpetuity.

8 No development approved by this permission shall take place until a protective fence to BS 3998 has been erected within the site around the Category B trees highlighted in the Tree Report; the fence shall be retained in situ throughout the construction period. No development shall take place or materials stored within the protected area.

9 Details of the implementation, maintenance and management of a sustainable drainage system (SUDS) for surface water drainage shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The approved scheme shall be implemented prior to the construction of any impermeable surfaces draining to this system, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority

10 A scheme to install oil and petrol separators shall be submitted to, and approved in writing by, the local planning authority. The scheme shall be implemented as approved prior to first occupation of the store.

11 Prior to the commencement of development a scheme for the provision and management of a buffer zone alongside the Nant Gurrey Fach shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the local planning authority. Thereafter the development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved scheme and any subsequent amendments shall be agreed in writing with the local planning authority. The scheme shall include:

12 With the exception of the filling station fuel tanks, any facilities for the storage of oils, fuels or chemicals shall be sited on impervious bases and surrounded by impervious bund walls. The volume of the bunded compound should be at least equivalent to the capacity of the tank plus 10%. If there is multiple tankage, the compound should be at least equivalent to the capacity of the largest tank, or the combined capacity of interconnected tanks, plus 10%. All filling points, vents, gauges and sight glasses must be located within the bund. The drainage system of the bund shall be sealed with no discharge to any watercourse, land or underground strata. Associated pipework should be location above ground and protected from accidental damage. All filling points and tank overflow pipe outlets should be detailed to discharge downwards into the bund.

13 The development of the petrol filling station hereby permitted shall not be commenced until such time as a detailed drainage plan for the petrol filling station area has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the local planning authority. The scheme shall be implemented as approved.

14 No development approved by this permission shall be commenced until a Method Statement detailing all pollution prevention measures for the construction phase of the development is submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

15 Foul water and surface water discharges shall be drained separately from the site.

16 The developer shall provide a suitable grease trap to prevent entry into the public sewerage system of matter likely to interfere with the free flow of the sewer contents, or which would prejudicially affect the treatment and disposal of such contents.

17 The development hereby permitted shall not be commenced until such time as a Construction Environmental Management Plan has been submitted to and approved in writing, by the local planning authority. Any work shall be carried out in accordance with the approved Construction Management Plan strategy. The plan shall include all the required action to safeguard the species and habitats on site as described, including timing of work; and should also extend to the flood mitigation area.

18 The development hereby permitted shall not be commenced until such time as a Habitat Management Plan has been submitted to and approved in writing, by the local planning authority. The Plan shall include all the recommended action for the future conservation and enhancement of the retained and new habitats on site as described.

19 Detailed specification of the biomass boiler installation shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority prior to commencement of development.

REASONS

1 Required to be imposed pursuant to Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

2 In the interest of visual amenities.

3 & 4 In the interests of preserving the retail vitality and viability of the town centre.

5 - 6 In the interest of highway safety.

7 - 8 In the interest of visual amenities and to protect the existing trees and riverside habitat.

9 To ensure a satisfactory form of drainage and prevent increased flood risk elsewhere.

10 To protect the water environment.

11 Development that encroaches on watercourses has a potentially severe impact on their ecological value.

12-15 To prevent pollution of the water environment.

16 To prevent the increased risk of flooding by ensuring the provision of a satisfactory means of surface water disposal.

17-18 To preserve a satisfactory standard of local environment and to protect features of biodiversity and landscape importance (Policy EN1, GDC19 & 20 of the UDP)

19 In the interest of residential amenity

NOTE(S)

1 The development hereby permitted shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the schedule of plans listed as follows:

2 This planning permission is dependent upon the developer, prior to the commencement of development, entering into either an Unilateral Undertaking Agreement or an Agreement with Carmarthenshire County Council under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, for the following matters:

3 Further advice and guidance from the Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water is contained in their letter, appended to this planning permission.

4 Any amendment or alteration of an existing public highway in connection with a new development shall be undertaken under a Section 278 Agreement of the Highways Act 1980. It is the responsibility of the developer to request the Local Highway Authority to proceed with this agreement and the developer is advised that they shall meet the total costs of entering into such an Agreement, as well as the costs of undertaking any physical works on site.

5 It is the responsibility of the developer to contact the Streetworks Manager of the Local Highway Authority to apply for a Streetworks Licence before undertaking any works on an existing Public Highway.

6 All surface water from the development herewith approved shall be trapped and disposed of so as to ensure that it does not flow on to any part of the public highway.

7 No surface water from the development herewith approved shall be disposed of, or connected into existing highway surface water drains.

8 The vegetation on this application site may potentially be used by nesting birds. It is recommended that the applicant be made aware that under the Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) it is an offence to kill or injure any wild bird, take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built. Any vegetation clearance should be done outside the nesting season, which is generally recognised to be from March to August inclusive, unless it can be demonstrated that nesting birds are absent. It should be noted that birds may still be nesting outside this season, therefore care should be taken to ensure that no nesting birds are affected.

9 The extraction systems serving on site facilities should vent emissions through suitable filters and be released through appropriate extraction ducting if necessary to ensure odours do not affect nearby properties under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, section 79.

10 Waste oils or fats from the premises must be disposed of in an appropriate manner, and must not be disposed of via the drainage system.

11 All waste produced at the premises must be stored in suitable containers, which can be moved for cleaning purposes.

12 Any form of artificial lighting to be used at the new development should be installed in accordance with good practice as issued by the Institute of Lighting Engineers, and lighting must be appropriate to ensure surrounding properties are not subjected to an unreasonable level of obtrusive light. In line with the relevant guidance, all lighting used should be as directional as possible and use the minimum number of lights required to achieve purpose.

13 Work in relation to construction must be undertaken in compliance with BS 5228 Noise Vibration and Control on Construction and Open Sites in order minimise noise disturbance.

14 Prior notice shall be given to the Local Planning Authority if the amount of deliveries per night is likely to increase to protect the hours of sleep.

15 The rating level of the noise emitted from the proposed development as a whole shall not exceed the existing background noise level by 5db or more. The noise levels shall be determined at the nearest noise sensitive premises or at another location that is deemed suitable by the authority. Measurements and assessments shall be made in accordance with BS 4142: 1997 Method for Rating Industrial Noise Affecting Mixed Residential and Industrial Areas. Where the background noise levels shall be expressed as LA90 T and the ambient noise levels shall be expressed at Laeq T.

16 If the authority receives a justified complaint with respect to the development, the operator within a period of 1 month shall undertake and submit to the authority a noise assessment conforming to BS 4142: 1997 Method for Rating Industrial Noise Affecting Mixed Residential and Industrial Areas to determine whether noise arising from development exceeds the level specified in condition Advisory Note 15 above. The assessment shall be undertaken under the supervision of the Local Authority. In the event that Advisory Note 15 is exceeded then the submitted survey shall also include mitigation measures to ensure compliance with the noise level specified. The development shall then be undertaken in accordance with the approved details.

17 All items of plant serving the buildings within the development area shall be adequately designed, installed and maintained to ensure that there are no distinctive tonal noise elements emitted from such items.

18 The disposal of used bottles into bottle banks or other waste receptacles shall not be permitted between the hours of 23:00 and 07:00 of the following day.

19 The Habitat Management Plan referred to in Condition 20 shall include all the recommended action for the future conservation and enhancement of the retained and new habitats on site as described. Future monitoring should be included in the Plan.

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

The proposal conflicts with Policy E7 and R7 of the Carmarthen Unitary Development Plan, the authority consider that the economic benefits and the increase shopping provision offered by the proposal are material considerations in determining the applications.

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies, which refer, are as follows:

The proposed development accords with Strategic Policy CUDP8 in that it will not result in the existing retail hierarchy of the county being undermined; furthermore, it has been demonstrated that the viability and vitality of Llandeilo town centre will not be adversely affected as a result of this development.

The proposed development accords with Policy R7 in that the proposed convenient store is considered to be of appropriate scale at this location; and the retail impact assessment has demonstrated that the proposed development will not have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of existing town centres; in addition adequate evidence has been submitted showing that the sequential test has been applied to site selection; full regard has been given to traffic, amenity and townscape considerations and the location is accessible by a choice of means of transport.

The proposed development accords with Policy GDC1 in that it represents a sustainable form of development which will in turn make a positive contribution towards reducing car usage; furthermore the proposal utilises vacant and underused land.

The proposed development accords with Policy GDC2 in that it satisfies the general criteria of this policy are applicable to this development.

The proposed development accords with Policies T1, T2, T3 and T4 in that by its very nature will have the potential for significant trip generation, however the site is located within the plans existing urban area, which is also served by public transport and that are accessible by walking and cycling. The development is accessible by safe and convenient pedestrian routes as well as by public transport and the local highway network has sufficient capacity to accommodate the development without detriment to safety of road users and pedestrians.

The proposed development accords with Policy GDC30 which deals with development in flood risk areas. Whilst the site is partly within a flood risk zone, the mitigation measures as proposed have been accepted by the Environment Agency.

The proposed development accords with Policies GDC19 and GDC20 in that the proposal make appropriate provision for the retention and protection of existing trees and hedgerows of high amenity value and also for other landscape features such as watercourses, bankside vegetation and wetlands. Furthermore, the proposal includes an appropriate and comprehensive landscape design scheme.

The proposed development accords with Policy UT8 in that the development takes into full account the impact of surface water drainage and water quality; in addition adequate provision has been made for both foul and surface water disposal.

The proposed development accords with Policy EN5 in that it addresses the protection and enhancement of flora and fauna; furthermore it has been demonstrated that the proposal will not cause harm to species or their habitats protected by legislation

Application No

E/25678

Application Type

Outline

Proposal &
Location

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT OF LAND WITHIN DEVELOPMENT LIMITS TO 5 PLOTS AT 10 GELLY ROAD, LLANDYBIE, AMMANFORD, SA18 3YL

Applicant(s)

R I T & D C J WATTS

Agent

DAVIES RICHARDS DESIGN LTD - MR GARETH RICHARDS

Case Officer

Andrew Francis

Electoral Ward

Llandybie

Date of validation

11/11/2011

CONSULTATIONS

Head of Transport – Recommends the imposition of conditions.

Environment Agency – Does not object to the proposal, recommends conditions and offers advice.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water – States that a foul only sewer connection can be made. Also recommends that foul and surface water discharge must be drained separately from the site; no surface water drainage or land drainage run-off, either directly or indirectly, shall be allowed to connect to or discharge into the public sewer and land drainage run off shall not be permitted to discharge either directly or indirectly into the public sewerage system.

Llandybie Community Council – Objects to the proposal for the following reasons:

The building of 10 dwellings on the site is over development and the number of dwellings should be reduced.

The present highway access from the A483 to Gelli Road is below acceptable standards and the development of 10 additional dwellings at this location is unacceptable.

Local Member - County Councillor A W Jones and W R A Davies have not commented to date.

Neighbours/Public – Nine Neighbour Consultation letters were sent out to advertise the application with seven letters of objection having been received as a result. The points of objection are summarised as follows:

Gelli Road is unable to accommodate the additional traffic that will be generated by this development.

The increased traffic will have a detrimental effect upon the already difficult access/exit on the corner into Maidens Grove from Ammanford Road and the access and exit to Gelli Road from Maidens Grove. There have been many near misses.

Parking is limited along the street as residents have to park outside their homes. This will make the problem worse.

Privacy to a neighbouring objector’s dwelling will be detrimentally affected.

The plan indicates encroachment onto a neighbouring property.

The proposal would spoil views over the countryside.

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

There is no relevant planning history

THE SITE

The application site consists of a vacant piece of land accessed via an existing gap between the existing dwellings, off Gelli Road, Llandybie.

Gelli Road is a dead end road, with a mixture of ex Local Authority semi detached dwellings situated off its northern flank and a range of larger privately built detached dwellings off its southern flank.

The application site is set behind this existing row of dwellings on land behind numbers 10, 4 and 2 Gelli Road, along with numbers 33 and 31 Maidens Grove. The land is irregular in shape and measures approximately 0.3 Hectares.

The site is relatively flat and bounded along its southern and western boundaries by an established hedgerow which includes a number of trees. There is also a mature tree on the corner of the proposed site access. The land isn’t allocated for any particular land use and is therefore deemed as white land within development limits within the UDP.

THE PROPOSAL

This application seeks Outline planning permission for a residential development consisting of 5 new detached residential units on the above described site, with all matters reserved for consideration at a later date. The indicative site plan shows a single access road serving all 5 proposed dwellings.

The proposal shows that four 190 m2 dwellings and one 160 m2 dwelling fit acceptably on the site with associated detached garages within the curtilage of each plot.

PLANNING POLICY

The Development Plan in force for the purposes of Section 38 of the Planning and Compensation Act (2004) is the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan (UDP) which was formally adopted on 19th July 2006. Whilst the site is not specifically allocated for residential development within the UDP, the UDP identifies the site as being within the defined settlement limits, as such, is deemed suitable for residential development. The application therefore falls to be considered against Policies H2 and GDC2 of the UDP as well as the general development control policies.

Given that Highways objections have been received, it is important to consider policies GDC11 and GDC12 of the UDP, which requires that all developments are served by an appropriate access, parking and turning facilities and that any proposal would not create unacceptable levels of traffic on the surrounding road network that would harm highway safety or cause amenity issues to those living alongside that network.

Policy GDC32 refers to Development Limits and White Land. This in essence requires that proposal on such land will be determined in accordance with the relevant policies contained within the Plan.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

Following the consultation process for this application, Llandybie Community Council has objected to this proposal stating the following reasons:

The building of 10 dwellings on the site is over development and the number of dwellings should be reduced.

The present highway access from the A483 to Gelli Road is below acceptable standards and the development of 10 additional dwellings at this location is unacceptable.

In considering these points separately from the neighbours’ objections, it is evident that Llandybie Community Council have misread the development proposal. As such, as the objection relates to the provision of 10 dwellings, instead of the 5 actually proposed, these comments do not relate directly to the proposed application and as such, cannot be sustained.

Also, 7 letters of objection have been received from neighbours as a result of the consultation process. The points of objection are summarised as follows:

Gelli Road is unable to accommodate the additional traffic that will be generated by this development.

The increased traffic will have a detrimental effect upon the already difficult access/exit on the corner into Maidens Grove from Ammanford Road and the access and exit to Gelli Road from Maidens Grove. There have been many near misses.

Parking is limited along the street as residents have to park outside their homes. This will make the problem worse.

Privacy to a neighbouring objector’s dwelling will be detrimentally affected.

The plan indicates encroachment onto a neighbouring property.

The proposal would spoil views over the countryside.

In considering the points raised, it appears that the main issue raised relates to highway safety and the capacity of the local road network to safely accommodate the extra vehicles that would be generated by the development. In considering this application, the Head of Transport has considered this application carefully and raises no objection to the proposal, instead recommending a number of conditions relating to the development. As such, the Local Authority is satisfied that the existing road network has adequate capacity to accommodate the extra vehicles and that the road junctions mentioned would not be detrimentally affected.

With particular regards to parking, the proposed development would provide adequate car parking facilities within the site so as to not require the potential occupiers to park on Gelli Road.

Turning to the issue of privacy, as the application is in outline, with indicative plans only, it is difficult to fully assess the impacts of the development. However, based on the submitted one proposed dwelling would have a side elevation facing 4 Gelli Road and one would have a side elevation facing 10 Gelli Road. As these would be side elevations and north facing, it is reasonable to assume that any glazing would be kept to a minimum on these elevations and that any glazing could be obscure glazed if necessary. The issue of privacy can be accommodated through good design. In this instance, it appears that the residential development of the site could be designed in such a way as to protect the residential amenities and privacy of the occupiers of the existing dwellings.

The issue of land ownership and encroachment onto property is a civil matter for the parties concerned. The Agent has been informed of the issue raised..

As Members will be aware, the point regarding the loss of a view is not considered to be a material planning consideration.

CONCLUSION

The submitted application for residential development appears to be compliant with the relevant policies within the UDP, in terms of amenity, service provision, site layout and overall character of the area.

The density of the proposal is acceptable and provides each dwelling with adequate amenity, utility and parking space, whilst providing the possibility of safeguarding privacy for both the existing and potential occupiers.

In light of the above, the application is recommended for approval.

RECOMMENDATION – APPROVAL

CONDITIONS

1 Application for approval of reserved matters must be made to the Local Planning Authority before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission, and the development must be commenced not later than whichever is the later of the following:-

2 The permission now granted is an outline permission only, within the meaning of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995.

3 Development shall not commence until detailed plans of the layout, appearance, scale, landscaping of the development, together with means of access to the site have been submitted, and received the written approval of the Local Planning Authority.

4 No development shall take place until there has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority a scheme of landscaping for the entire site which shall include details of the retention of existing hedgerows, a full survey of all existing trees and hedgerows on the land, and details of any to be retained together with measures for their protection to BS 5837 standard during the course of the development, and thereafter shall be retained in perpetuity.

5 All planting, seeding or turfing comprised in the approved details of landscaping shall be carried out in the first planting and seeding season following the completion of the development and any trees or plants which within a period of 5 years from the commencement of the development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variations and thereafter shall be retained in perpetuity.

6 Prior to its use by vehicular traffic, the new access road shall be laid out and constructed with 5.0 metre carriageway, 1.8 metre footways, and 6 metre kerbed radii at the junction with Gelli Road.

7 There shall at no time be any growth or obstruction to visibility over 0.6 metres above the adjacent carriageway crown, over the site's whole Gelli Road frontage within 2.4 metres of the near edge of the carriageway.

8 Prior to the occupation of any of the dwellings herewith approved, the required access roads and footpaths from the existing public highway shall be laid out and constructed strictly in accordance with the plans herewith approved, to at least the base course levels, and with the visibility splays provided.

9 Prior to the commencement of development the written approval of the Local Planning Authority shall be obtained for a scheme of parking and turning facilities within the curtilage of the site, and this shall be dedicated to serve the proposal. The approved scheme is to be fully implemented prior to any part of the development being brought into use, and thereafter shall be retained, unobstructed, in perpetuity. In particular, no part of the parking or turning facilities is to be obstructed by non-motorised vehicles.

10 Prior to commencement of any part of the development herewith approved, a 2.0 metre wide footway together with a suitably located tactile crossing point shall be provided along and at the southern side of Gelli Road. This work shall be completed to the written approval of the Local Planning Authority, and to the specification of the Local Highway Authority.

11 No development shall commence until details of a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) scheme for the comprehensive and integrated drainage of the site showing how foul water, surface water and land drainage will be dealt with and this has been approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

12 Each new dwelling hereby permitted shall be constructed to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and achieve a minimum of 1 credit under category ‘Ene1 - Dwelling Emission Rate’ in accordance with the requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide (Nov. 2010). The development shall be carried out entirely in accordance with the approved assessment and certification.

13 Construction of any dwelling hereby permitted shall not begin until an ‘Interim Certificate’ has been submitted to the Local Planning Authority, certifying that a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and a minimum of 1 credit under ‘Ene1 - Dwelling Emission Rate’, has been achieved for that individual dwelling or house type in accordance with the requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide (Nov. 2010).

14 Prior to the occupation of the individual dwelling hereby permitted, a Code for Sustainable Homes ‘Final Certificate’’ shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority certifying that a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and a minimum of1 credit under ‘Ene1 - Dwelling Emission Rate’, has been achieved for that dwelling in accordance with the requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide (Nov. 2010).

REASONS

1 Required to be imposed pursuant to Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

2 The application is in outline only.

3-5 In the interest of visual amenity.

6-10 In the interest of Highway safety.

11 To prevent surface water flooding of the site.

12-14 To ensure the provision of sustainable dwellings.

NOTE(S)

1 Please note that this permission is specific to the plans and particulars approved as part of the application. Any departure from the approved plans will constitute unauthorised development and may be liable to enforcement action. You (or any subsequent developer) should advise the Council of any actual or proposed variations from the approved plans immediately so that you can be advised how to best resolve the matter.

2 If the applicant intends to offer the proposed estate road for adoption to the highway Authority under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980, then he is advised to contact the Authority’s Highways Adoptions officer Mr Clliff Cleaton, at the earliest opportunity.

3 Any amendment or alteration of an existing public highway in connection with a new development shall be undertaken under a Section 278 Agreement of the Highways Act 1980. It is the responsibility of the developer to request the Local Highway Authority to proceed with this agreement and the developer is advised that the total costs of entering into such an agreement, as well as the costs of undertaking any physical works on site, shall be met by him.

4 It is the responsibility of the developer to contact the Streetworks Manager of the Local Highway Authority to apply for a Streetworks Licence before undertaking any works on an existing Public Highway.

5 Developers shall take positive measures to prevent surface water ingress to the site from the adjacent highway.

6 All surface water from the development herewith approved shall be trapped and disposed of so as to ensure that it does not flow on to any part of the public highway.

7 No surface water from the development herewith approved shall be disposed of, or connected into, existing highway surface water drains.

8 Further advice and guidance from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water is contained within their correspondence dated 30 November 2011, appended to this permission.

9 Further advice and guidance from the Environment Agency is contained in their correspondence dated 1 December 2011, appended to this permission.

10 The development hereby permitted shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the amended 1:1250 and 1:500 scale plans received on 27 January 2012.

SUMMARY REASONS FOR APPROVAL

In accordance with Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2004, the Council hereby certify that the proposal as hereby approved conforms with the relevant policies of the Development Plan (comprising the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan 2006) and material considerations do not indicate otherwise. The policies, which refer, are as follows:

The proposed development accords with policy GDC2 of the UDP in that the proposed dwelling represents an acceptable form of development which is appropriate to the character and appearance of the surrounding area, is of a good design and will not have an unacceptable impact upon the residential amenity of nearby properties.

The proposed development accords with policy GDC9 of the UDP in that the proposed dwelling includes appropriate amenity and utility space proportionate to the scale, layout and location of the dwelling.

The proposed development accords with policy GDC11 and GDC12 of the UDP in that the proposed dwelling provides an adequate access, parking and turning facilities and would not be detrimental to the safety on the local highway network.

The proposed development accords with policy H2 of the UDP in that the land is situated within the settlement limits for Llandybie and that the proposal does not conflict with other policies within the plan and does not cause any highway, amenity or utility service provision objections.

APPLICATIONS RECOMMENDED FOR REFUSAL

Application No

E/24378

Application Type

Outline

Proposal &
Location

OUTLINE PLANNING APPLICATION FOR A 47,500 SQ.FT RETAIL FOODSTORE DEVELOPMENT (TOGETHER WITH A PETROL FILLING STATION AND RETAIL KIOSK) WITH ASSOCIATED HIGHWAY WORKS, CAR AND CYCLE PARKING, SERVICES AND LANDSCAPING AT LAND AT FOUNDRY ROAD, AMMANFORD, CARMARTHENSHIRE, SA18 2LS

Applicant(s)

T RICHARD JONES (BETWS) LTD, C/O AGENT

Agent

ASBRI PLANNING LTD (RICHARD BOWEN), 1A AXIS COURT, MALLARD WAY, RIVERSIDE BUSINESS PARK, SWANSEA VALE, SWANSEA, SA7 0AJ

Case Officer

Andrew Francis

Ward

Ammanford

Date of validation

22/02/2011

CONSULTATIONS

South Wales Trunk Roads Agency No comments have been received to date.

Transport Impact Assessment No comments have been received to date.

Nathaniel Litchfield Partnership (NLP) (Retail Consultants representing Carmarthenshire County Council) - Have provided the comments on the Retail Impact Assessment. The key points and conclusions are summarised below:-

The Ammanford only proposal would result in a goods expenditure deficit in Ammanford only of £0.75m. This is considered to be fairly modest and existing stores should remain and trade at around benchmark levels.

The proposal would have a significant negative effect upon Cross Hands and may result in the closure of the Co-op store there.

Only one store out the three can be justified quantitatively. NLP recommend that the best option would be the Llandeilo store.

Ammanford Town Council – Has commented that they would not wish for this to be approved until all the infrastructure is in place. At present, there is considerable traffic congestion in this area and this needs to be addressed first.

Local Member - County Councillor M H Evans and County Councillor M P Binney have not formally commented to date.

Environment Agency – Has considered the submitted Flood Consequences Assessment and the subsequent revisions of this for the site and recommend refusal of the proposal.

Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water – Foul and surface water discharge must be drained separately from the site; no surface water drainage or land drainage runoff, either directly or indirectly, shall be allowed to connect to or discharge into the public sewer. Also, the proposed development site is crossed by a public sewer. No part of the building will be permitted within 3 metres either side of the centreline of the public sewer.

Neighbours/Public - The application has been publicised by the posting of a Site Notice and a Press Notice. Two letters of objection have been received as a result. The points of objection are summarised as follows:

All existing food retail provision is within the town centre which enhances and protects the town centre. A food store at this location would cause a significant shift in shopping patterns to the detriment of the town.

A further superstore would undermine the existing shops within the town centre. It is not in appropriate location for additional retail floorspace.

The applicant has failed to demonstrate a surplus capacity for convenience provision.

The RIA for Lidl accepted by the Local Planning Authority outlines limited quantitive need. The scale of the store proposed exceeds the amount of convenience floorspace capacity identified within the 2009 Ammanford Retail Study.

The comparison impact has not been fully assessed.

The submitted RIA over relies on a proposal of leakage, market share dynamics, overtrading arguments to generate a limited quantitive surplus.

The proposal will have a detrimental impact on other stores within the county.

No end user, so true impact on town centre cannot be assessed.

Loss of employment land.

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

The following previous application(s) has/have been received on the application site:-

5997/80 Industrial/commercial development.

9148/83 Extension of builders yard.

9961/84 Auction area, sales room and

10284/84 Auction area, sales room and

11002/85 Joinery shop

16680/89 Workshop for repair and maintenance

17252/90 Construction of new garage

17868/90 One industrial unit

121/94 Detailed Waste Transfer Station

E/02425 Provision of transfer station for

E/02688 Proposed industrial unit

E/06139 Change of use of former colliery

E/07828 Proposed extension to waste

E/11021 Proposed alterations and

APPRAISAL

Introduction

The application is submitted by TRJ Ltd in respect of the proposed development of a new supermarket development on their existing industrial yard off Foundry Road, Ammanford. The site is located off the southern flank of the A474 within the settlement limits of Ammanford but outside the town centre as delineated in the Adopted Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan. The land is defined as a Development Brief Site in the UDP under policy E17.

Procedural Requirements

Prior to the submission of the application and during pre-application
discussions the Local Planning Authority was approached for a “Screening Opinion”; following that a “Scoping opinion”. Having regard to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for this proposed development. The required EIA accompanied the submission of the planning application.

In respect of the Shopping Directive (Circular 15/93), Members are advised that that “gross shopping floorspace” of between 2,500 sqm and 20,000 sqm should be referred to the Welsh Government if it exceeds 20,000 sqm when combined with other eligible retail proposal(s). Other eligible proposals must:

Be within 10 miles of any part of the development (it is calculated that Llandeilo, Cross Hands and Ammanford are all situated within 10 miles of one another); and
Be a live application for gross shopping floorspace of not less than 2,500 sqm on the date when an application to which the Direction applies is made: or
Be a permission for gross shopping floorspace of not less than 2,500 sqm permitted in the last five years (for example, the Tesco proposal for 5,787 sqm of floorspace at Ammanford (Ref No. E/18772) would be eligible); or
Be a permission for gross shopping floorspace of not less than 2,500 sqm, substantially completed in the last five years.

In view of the above, it has been calculated that the following schemes would all be eligible in respect of the retail proposal at Llandeilo:

Llandeilo – 4,031 sqm gross (planning application valid on 29 June 2011)
Cross Hands – 8,375 sqm gross (planning application S/23696 valid on 22 March 2011)
Ammanford (TRJ site) – 4,413sqm gross (planning application E/24378 : valid on 22 February 2011)
Ammanford (Tesco) - 5,787sqm gross (planning permission granted in 2009)

In consideration of the development against the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Shopping Development) (England and Wales) (No.2) Direction 1993, it shows that cumulatively with other developments in the area, this proposal, if minded to approve, would take the total gross shopping floor-space above the threshold of 20,000 sqm (22,606 sqm in this instance). As such, if Members are minded to approve this application, it will require notification to the Welsh Government.

THE SITE

The application site is an irregular shaped parcel of flat land situated between the A474 Foundry Road and the River Amman. The existing TRJ Yard extends approximately 370 metres in length and has a maximum depth of approximately 100 metres. The overall area of the site measures some 3.1 Hectares (7.7 acres).

The site is in current industrial use by TRJ Ltd and incorporates manufacturing and storage sheds, along with outdoor storage areas and a waste management station.

The site is located within the development limits of Ammanford along the southern flank of Foundry Road and is approximately 265 metres to the east of Ammanford Town Centre as delineated by the UDP. Foundry Road has become the recently completed Phase 1 of the Ammanford Distributor Road and also accommodates the Royal Mail Sorting Office, a Christadelphian Church Hall, a Lidl Super Market, a Police Station, a Jehovah’s Witness Hall and approximately 8 residential dwellings.

The site is also part of the Development Brief Site PDB 24, which covers Riverside North and Riverside South and includes the Tesco Superstore site.

The site within the development limits as delineated in the Carmarthenshire UDP and is not allocated as any particular land use. The site is within a C2 flood zone as shown in the latest Development Advice Maps issued By the Welsh Assembly in September 2009.

THE PROPOSAL

The application seeks Outline planning permission for the provision of a 4413 sq metres (47,500 sq ft) supermarket with associated parking and servicing area and fuel station. There would be a single vehicular access to the site serving the development, off Foundry Road.

Indicative plans have been submitted showing the supermarket building would be sited roughly in the location of the existing manufacturing and storage buildings towards the west of the site, with the service area provided off a separate access to the west of the supermarket building and the access, parking and fuel station situated to the east of the store.

The building as shown measures approximately 70 metres by 60 metres, though as this is an outline application by TRJ, no end user has been specified. The application proposes a net sales area of 2323 sq metres and the sales floor space is assumed to have a split of 80:20 between convenience and comparison goods, equating to 1858 sq metres of convenience floor space and 465 sq metres of comparison floor space.

321 parking spaces are shown, with 20 disabled spaces and 8 trolley bays.

No external elevations are provided and no detailed design drawings have been submitted.

The application site, for the most part, is situated some distance from the River Amman, though part of the overall site, beyond the fuel station borders the river.

There is very little in the way of vegetation on the site given the current industrial use of the site.

A Retail Impact Assessment (RIA) was submitted by the applicants and this was carried out by GVA. This concludes that the there is no sequentially preferred sites in Ammanford for such a development and would provide a much needed qualitative improvement in convenience goods shopping for Ammanford and the surrounding areas. It also concludes that the proposal will not have a detrimental impact on the defined town centre of Ammanford and existing stores will not be particularly affected, and should continue to trade around benchmark levels.

This doesn’t take into account the proposed supermarkets at Llandeilo and Cross Hands as these applications were submitted after this application. The Retail Impact Assessment and its critique by Nathaniel Lichfield Partnership will be discussed in detail later in this report.

A Transport Impact Assessment was submitted by the applicant and this was carried out by Acstro. TAN18 Transport Annexe D defines the thresholds for developments to require such an assessment. This states that for developments of over 1,000 sq metres for food retail that a TIA would be required. The proposed development is situated on a straight section of the new distributor road with more than sufficient visibility for the 30 mph speed limit in operation.

The assessment considers the guidance from Planning Policy Wales and TAN 18 and also the UDP and the Ammanford Regeneration study that started off being considered by Atkins, which is considering regeneration of the town centre along with improvements to the traffic system around the town.

The RIA states that the proposal is 450 metres from pedestrianised Quay Street and that in terms of public transport, the nearest bus stop 500 m away on Heol Wallasey. Two bus services pass the site on a daily basis.

The RIA considers ‘The Application of Accessibility Methodologies to Land Use Planning (2001)’ prepared by the National Assembly for Wales. This states that a 20 minute walk (1.5k) is a reasonable distance to expect pedestrians to utilise urban facilities, or for employees to be able to walk to work. It understands that shoppers laden with bags are unlikely to walk this distance however. It NOTE(S) that the general pedestrian facilities of Ammanford are good, as are the cycle network facilities.

No comments from the Transport Framework have been received thus far and as such, no quantitative or qualitative assessment of the submitted Transport Impact Assessment have been included in this report.

The South Wales Trunk Road Agency have been consulted recently on this application and their comments are also awaited.

A Flood Consequence Assessment was submitted by the applicant and this was carried out by Francis Sant. The initial report was considered by the Environment Agency who stated that the application should be refused. Following a meeting, an amended Flood Consequences Assessment has been considered by the Environment Agency, but following this amended information, the environment Agency continue to recommend refusal and this will be discussed in detail later in this report.

A Phase 1 habitat study was submitted with the application. This found that no bats used the buildings, but that 1 otter was found using the nearby river bank. All other aspects appear to be acceptable in habitat terms and that it is unlikely that a licence would be required in relation to the otter.

PLANNING POLICY

The Authority has based its consideration of the proposal in accordance with the current statutory Unitary Development Plan as required under Section 38 of the Planning and Compensation Act (2004) along with Assembly issued policy guidance and circular advice.

The site lies within the settlement limits and outside the defined town centre of Ammanford. The relevant Welsh Assembly Planning Policy is outlined in Planning Policy Wales Edition 4 (Feb 2011) (PPW) and Technical Advice Note 4 ‘Retailing and Town Centres’ (1996). Chapter 10.3 of PPW outlines the guidance Local Planning Authority’s should use when determining retail applications:

compatibility with any community strategy or up-to-date development plan strategy;

need for the development/extension, unless the proposal is for a site within a defined centre or one allocated in an up-to-date development plan;

the sequential approach to site selection;

impact on existing centres;

net gains in floorspace where redevelopment is involved, and whether or not it is like for-like in terms of comparison or convenience;

rate of take-up of allocations in any adopted development plan;

accessibility by a variety of modes of travel;

improvements to public transport;

impact on overall travel patterns; and

best use of land close to any transport hub, in terms of density and mixed use.

Out of centre food supermarkets should not be allowed if their provision is likely to lead to the loss of general food retailing in the centre of smaller towns.

When determining a planning application for retail, leisure or other uses best located in a town centre, local planning authorities should take into account the compatibility with the UDP strategy. The strategic framework on which detailed policies within the UDP are based is outlined in Part 1 of the document and highlights a sustainable settlement framework. A “Growth Area” and “Village Cluster” development pattern is the focus of this type of development. This is heavily influenced by a need to secure a more sustainable land use pattern in the County, directing new development and investment to those locations that already have a range of facilities and services has the effect of minimising the distances between trip origin and destination, thus reducing the propensity for additional private car travel.

The Growth Areas are broken down into 3 categories. The first being the Urban Growth Areas of Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford/Cross Hands, the next being Secondary Settlements and finally Tertiary Settlements. Ammanford is identified as an Urban Growth Area. The characteristics of these areas is that they are large and established urban areas and are well served by sustainable transport routes. They also contain a range of higher order services and facilities.

The proposal is located outside the defined Town Centre but within the settlement limits of Ammanford. The potential impact of the proposal on the Town Centre, along with the need for the development and the sequential approach to site selection should be assessed. Developers should be able to demonstrate that all potential town centre options and edge of centre options have been assessed using the sequential approach.

In terms of UDP policies a number of them are applicable. In terms of strategic policies CUDP8 applies and states that Carmarthenshire County Council aim to maintain and enhance the existing retail hierarchy of the county by protecting the viability and vitality of town centres and supporting small local convenience shopping facilities in rural and urban areas.

Policy GDC1 relates to sustainable development and aims to reduce car usage, reduce pollution and utilise vacant, underused or previously developed land.

Other general polices that apply are GDC11 and GDC12 in relation to highways and traffic aspects of the development. These require appropriate access and parking facilities, including visibility to be provided by the development as well as traffic generation that would not be detrimental to highway safety or amenity.

GDC15 relates to previously developed land and contaminated land. Proposals would need to demonstrate that possible problems with the land have been investigated and that any risk to public health, safety and the environment can be managed.

GDC34 relates to previously developed land and Carmarthenshire County Council afford priority to the development of such land in preference to Greenfield sites.

GDC2 is the general development policies and a number of the criteria of this policy are applicable to this development.

In terms of transport polices T1, T2, T3 and T4 apply. T1 ‘Location of New Development’ states developments which may have the potential for significant trip generation should be located within the plans existing urban areas or in locations well served by public transport and that are accessible by walking and cycling.

T2 relates to major developments and requires safe and convenient pedestrian routes and cycle lanes as well as adequate provision for public transport and should seek to reduce environmental impacts such as the use of SuDS.

Policy T3 ‘Highways Considerations of Development’ only allows developments providing the capacity of the local highway network in sufficient to serve the development without detriment to safety of road users and pedestrians and that access provision, including turning areas are of appropriate standards.

T4 ‘Parking Standards for New Developments’ requires proposals to not exceed the maximum parking guidelines and standards.

Policy GDC30 deals with development in flood risk areas. This states that proposals within C2 flood zones will not be permitted if they are for vulnerable and/or emergency services.

Retail and employment policies also apply to the proposal. Policy E2 permits small scale employment proposals to be located within the development limits and they should accord with other relevant policies within the UDP.

Policy E6 applies and this relates to the extension, intensification or continuance of the existing employment undertakings. Such proposals are permitted where they would not cause environmental damage, highway, public service provision or amenity objections. They should also be of an appropriate scale and form.

The UDP refers to out of centre retailing, stating that Town Centres are not always capable of accommodating particular types of retailing such as bulky goods owing to the requirements for large sites and buildings and implications for traffic generation and parking. The Carmarthenshire Retail Study (Sept 2000 and 2004 update) suggested the location of convenience floor space within selected secondary centres. This was seen as suitable to allow modern food outlets to be more accessible to a greater proportion of the County’s population. This would also link to sustainability objectives.

Policy R8 looks at large scale food stores due to the size of the proposed retail aspect of the development. Policy R8 permits large scale food stores of an appropriate scale in urban growth settlements such as Ammanford subject to the submission of an impact assessment to demonstrate that the proposal would not have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the existing retail centre, passes the sequential test approach, would not prejudice the retail strategy for the location of convenience floorspace in the secondary centres, and being accessible by a choice of means of transport.

Technical Advice Note 4 (TAN4) looks at Retailing and Towns Centres. This outlines the information that the nature and content of the Retail Impact Assessments. All proposed stores of more 2,500 sqm require such an assessment however such assessments may also be necessary for some smaller developments, for instance those that are likely to have a large impact on a smaller town or district centre.

MIPPS 02/2005 ‘Planning for Retailing and Town Centres’ is also relevant.

In terms of landscaping considerations, policies GDC19 and GDC20 apply. GDC19 relates to the retention of landscape features. This states that wherever practical developments should make appropriate provision for the retention and protection of existing trees and hedgerows of high amenity value and also for other landscape features such as watercourses, bankside vegetation and wetlands. GDC20 is concerned with landscape design. Wherever practical developments should include an appropriate and comprehensive landscape design scheme. Any approved scheme should take place within the first planting season following the commencement of development. The policy goes on to provide details of the potential contents of such schemes.

Policy UT8 of the UDP looks at surface water issues. The policy requires developments to take account of the impact of surface water drainage and water quality. In particular encouragement is given to soakaways, SuDS amongst other options. Policy UT1 ‘Infrastructure in New Development’ states the Authority will only grant permission where infrastructure is sufficient to meet the needs of the development and that where it is available the public sewer system should be connected to for foul sewerage.

Policy EN5 addresses the protection and enhancement of flora and fauna. The Local Planning Authority should not allow proposals where they would cause harm to species or their habitats protected by legislation where positive mitigation measures cannot be provided. EN6 looks at the retention of habitats. EN9 also looks at protected species and their habitats.

THIRD PARTY REPRESENTATIONS

The application was advertised by means of a Site Notice and was also advertised in the press. Two letters of objection have been submitted as a result of the consultation process The letters have been submitted on behalf of the Lidl Foodstore and the Co-operative Store. The Town Council also raised concerns, but did not object to the proposal.

The Environment Agency continue to object to the proposal for reasons of flood risk.

No public objection has been received. The points of objection are summarised as follows:

All existing food retail provision is within the town centre which enhances and protects the town centre. A food store at this location would cause a significant shift in shopping patterns to the detriment of the town.

The applicant has failed to demonstrate a surplus capacity for convenience provision.

The RIA for Lidl accepted by the Local Planning Authority outlines limited quantitative need. The scale of the store proposed exceeds the amount of convenience floorspace capacity identified within the 2009 Ammanford Retail Study.

It is not in an appropriate location for additional retail floorspace.

The comparison impact has not been fully assessed.

The submitted RIA over relies on a proposal of leakage, market share dynamics, overtrading arguments to generate a limited quantitative surplus.

The proposal will have a detrimental impact on other stores within the county.

No end user, so true impact on town centre cannot be assessed.

Loss of employment land.

In considering these points in turn, the Authority employed Nathaniel Lichfield Partnership (NLP) to conduct a review of the RIA’s for this and the other two supermarket applications within Carmarthenshire currently. With regard to the first three points, it is acknowledged that the proposal is out of centre, and is approximately 265 metres from the defined edge and approximately 500 metres from the pedestrianised centre. In considering the quantitative figures, the NLP report suggests that in Ammanford only, the benchmark turnover of the store would exceed expenditure capacity by approximately £0.75 m, with the figures suggesting that convenience retail facilities would trade on average at only around 2% below benchmark levels. As such the second point is correct in that there is no surplus capacity, but the shortfall appears small at only £0.75 m.

This proposal would also increase the penetration rate of customers from Llandeilo and Llandovery from 9% to 18% and have a small 2% increase in penetration rates from Cross Hands customers. The applicant’s RIA suggests that the biggest diversion of custom would be from the Tesco store (33%), but assumes that 22% of custom would come from the Tesco store in Llanelli and 23% from the Carmarthen Tesco store. It also assumes that only a small diversion would come from the new Tesco store in Pontarddulais.

The GVA study also assumes a small diversion from the nearby Co-op stores and assumes that these should continue to operate at around benchmark levels. However, the NLP study anticipates higher levels of impact on the Co-op stores in Ammanford and Cross Hands and may result in the closure of the Cross Hands Co-op. It is therefore assumed that it is likely that the proposal would have a modest but detrimental effect upon the existing convenience stores of Ammanford of approximately £0.75m.

This does not take into account the impact of the alternative store proposals at Llandeilo and Cross Hands and the effect these may have on Ammanford. This will be considered in the conclusion to follow which will look at more detail in the County wide issues.

With regard to the fourth point, NLP’s report disagrees with the assumption that the proposed store is edge of centre, as the proposed store’s entrance would be approximately 500 m walking distance from the town’s shops, and as such should be classed out of town. In saying that, based on the assumptions made in the accepted Lidl Sequential approach and this application, NLP agrees that there are no sequentially preferable sites that could accommodate a large food store in Ammanford. As such this point of objection has some merit, if the proposal had to be in a town centre or edge of centre. However given that sequentially there is no alternative site, Members must assume that this is the best location for this store and the proposal must be decided on its merits.

With regard to point 5, this application is in outline only and as there is no known end user, and as such GVA’s report includes no comparison data. Based on certain logical assumptions in terms of typical comparison goods ratios of sales space, NLP’s RIA has considered this issue and has concluded that there is sufficient comparison goods capacity within Ammanford for the amount proposed within the store. As such, this point of objection is not sustained.

With regard to the point 6, as members will be aware, the shopping patterns of specific towns within a county and how these are affected by new stores in that town or other nearby towns is a particularly complex phenomenon to accurately measure. However, the NLP report attempts to consider this issue and presents a logical case to address this issue. The NLP RIA concludes that there isn’t a surplus, but a £0.75 m loss from Ammanford, but that this is modest. It would have a greater effect upon Cross Hands (£2.75 m loss not counting existing leakage) but that currently Llandeilo would retain a £0.04 m surplus, if the Ammanford store were to operate. Overall, currently there is a total £3.06 m surplus in the three areas of Ammanford, Cross Hands and Llandeilo. If the Ammanford store were to proceed individually, this would result in a deficit of £6.31 m, which compares with a single store deficit, if Llandeilo’s store only was approved of £6.26 m and a much larger deficit of £17.88 m if the proposed Cross Hands store was the only store to proceed. Overall, there is very little between the single store options of Llandeilo’s and Ammanford’s options. However, there is still a deficit, which appears to contradict the GVA conclusion that there would be an adequate surplus to allow the store to proceed.

With regard to point 7, although there is no end user proposed, certain assumptions can be made. The end user is unlikely to be Tesco, given their new store some 500 m away. Given that Sainsbury’s are the applicant in Llandeilo and also strongly interested in Cross Hand’s store, the proposal is unlikely to be a Sainsbury’s. Of the big 4 supermarket chains, this leaves Morrisons and Asda. The submitted indicative plans are based on a Morrisons design. The assumptions made by NLP consider such eventualities and has led to the quantitative figures presented in their report, which assumes that there would be adequate comparison goods capacity within Ammanford, but there doesn’t appear to be convenience goods capacity, although the deficit is modest.

With regard to the final point, in the UDP the application site isn’t allocated as employment land. It is classed as partly ‘White Land’ and partly a Development Brief site, which also includes the land on which the new Tesco store has been built. As such, this point of objection cannot be sustained.

Turning to the concern raised by Ammanford Town Council regarding the issues of infrastructure, in particular the highways infrastructure, there is indeed concern regarding traffic and its flows through Ammanford. This issue is being tackled by a focus group convened by the Authority in an attempt to improve the highways infrastructure of Ammanford, in the interim prior to the second phase of the Ammanford Relief Road becoming a reality. Works to this end are proceeding slowly, and it is currently unknown if and when these works may take place.

In addition to this, a Transport Impact Assessment was submitted with the application, and has been submitted to the Authority’s Transport Gateway for assessment. However, despite the time that has elapsed, no correspondence has been received as a result of this consultation.

Although the application is not off a Trunk Road or within 67 metres of a Trunk Road, the South Wales Trunk Road Agency (SWTRA) have recently requested that they be consulted on this application with regards to the highways infrastructure and the potential effect on the Trunk Road. However, no formal comments have been received to date.

As such, the issues of highway infrastructure have yet to be properly assessed.

The final major point of objection has been raised by the Environment Agency (EA). The application site is within a C2 Flood Zone as defined by the Development Advice Maps (DAM) issued by the Welsh Government. As such, a Flood Consequence Assessment (FCA) has been submitted with this application, reviewed by the EA.

Initially, the EA objected to the proposal as the FCA showed that water levels in the 1 in 1000 year flood would be significantly high to cause an endangerment to human life. Following a meeting where the EA, the applicants and their hydrologist, along with the Case Officer discussed the issues, an alternative FCA was submitted which omitted 2 bridges over the River Amman, owned by TRJ and no longer considered to be required. Following review of this alternative, and reconsideration of the figures published, due to a misunderstanding, the EA continue to object to the proposal as although flood water levels on the application site will be improved in the 1 in 1000 year flood event, but in locations downstream, flood depths are increased by up to 500 mm. This is regarded as an unacceptable increase in flood risk elsewhere. It appears that insufficient information has been submitted regarding the areas where the flood risk may be increased. As such, the EA states that the proposal is contrary to TAN 15 and as a result, policy GDC30 of the UDP and should be refused.

CONCLUSION

After careful consideration of the proposal individually, and as part of the wider supermarket provision scenario, the following conclusions can be reached.

Ignoring all the issues of retail impact and transport impact, the site is prone to flooding to a degree which the EA continues to recommend that the application be refused. As such, the proposal is contrary to policy GDC30 and national policy TAN 15.

In terms of regeneration potential, the site is currently an eyesore and is at the gateway to Ammanford location for vehicles travelling from the east. It’s redevelopment by a Supermarket would significantly improve the entrance to Ammanford from this direction, allowing TRJ to relocate their operation to land they control on the old Betws coal mine site, a less conspicuous location. This would have significant benefits to Ammanford in terms of visual amenity and consumer choice.

In terms of retail, individually, this store proposal, following detailed review, is considered to exhaust the available convenience capacity in Ammanford and leave a deficit of £0.75 m. Furthermore, it will result in a deficit in the Ammanford/Cross Hands/Llandeilo area of £6.31 m. However, there is sufficient comparison goods capacity within Ammanford to support the store.

In NLP’s assessment, there appears to be sufficient capacity for one store of a reasonable size in the Ammanford/Cross Hands/Llandeilo area.

When considered against the other two proposals before you, individually, this proposal is very similar in quantitative impact to the Llandeilo proposal. This is not surprising as the stores are of a similar size and therefore each would be a logical choice in store choice based on the quantitative study. The Ammanford store would have a more concentrated impact on trading levels in Cross Hands and may lead to the closure of the Co-op store there. If this were to happen, it would result in an increase in expenditure leakage from Cross Hands, reducing food shopping choice there, and leading to less sustainable transport patterns. This would mean that the individual preferred store, from a quantitative viewpoint, would be Llandeilo.

Individually, the Cross Hands proposal appears to be by far the worst option as this would result in a £17.88 m deficit and also leave a significant deficit in both Ammanford and Cross Hands; that would be worse for Ammanford that the store proposed in this application.

If two stores were considered feasible by the Members, then a two store scenario would result in a convenience goods expenditure deficit of between £19.49 m (Ammanford/Llandeilo) to £36.15 m (Cross Hands/Llandeilo). Fiscally speaking, this appears unsustainable as does the three store option, if all were to be approved which would leave a £47.69 m deficit.

NLP consider that the Llandeilo proposal is the most beneficial and that only one store can be supported. Provided that other issues can be successfully addressed at this site, it would mean that there is insufficient qualitative need for another store and that there would be a detrimental cumulative impact on existing facilities.

In light of the above, it is recommended that this application be refused as it fails to comply with the UDP in terms of GDC30 (flooding) R8 (retail viability) and national planning policies in terms of TAN 15 (flooding), TAN 4 (Retail) and Chapter 10.3 of Planning Policy Wales.

RECOMMENDATION – REFUSAL

REASONS

1 The proposal, if approved would be contrary to policy GDC30 of the UDP, which states:

2 The proposal, if approved, would be contrary to policy R8 of the UDP, which states:

3 The proposal, if approved, would be contrary to Technical Advice Note (TAN) 15 (July 2004), in that:

4 The proposal, if approved would be contrary to Technical Advice Note (TAN) 4 (November 1996) in particular the Impact Assessment required under Paragraph 6, which states:

Para 6

5 The proposal, if approved would be contrary to Planning Policy Wales (July 2010), in particular Chapter 10.3.1, which states:

Application No

E/25016

Application Type

Outline

Proposal &
Location

AGRICULTURAL DWELLING & GARAGE AT CEFN TELYCH, PUMPSAINT, LLANWRDA, CARMARTHENSHIRE, SA19 8BX

Applicant(s)

MR A JONES, CEFN TELYCH FARM, PUMPSAINT, LLANWRDA, CARMARTHENSHIRE, SA19 8BX

Agent

CARTREF DESIGNS LTD (MR DARYL THOMAS), CARTREF, TY AWR, LLANYBYDDER, CARMS, SA40 9RB

Case Officer

Kevin Phillips

Ward

Cynwyl Gaeo

Date of validation

24/06/2011

CONSULTATIONS

Cynwyl Gaeo Community Council – Supports the proposal.

Local Members - County Councillor J E Williams is a member of the Planning Committee and therefore has made no prior comment. He has requested that the application be considered by the Planning Committee as the son has taken over the main work at the farm and the contracting business and the dwelling is needed to house a worker to support this important rural business.

Head of Corporate Property - It should be noted that the information forming the basis of this report is derived from a report accompanying the application and that gathered from the applicants at the time of my inspection. The enterprise is a sheep farm on 79 acres with an agricultural contracting business, however there is little mention of this in the report submitted.

The functional test could be met with the ewe numbers being increased to the level mentioned in the report, in retaining ewe lambs this could be achieved in 3 years; and evidence being provided to demonstrate that the business is being transferred to the younger person as per the exception to the policy (section 4.5 of TAN 6)

The time test, as delineated on page 5 of the submitted report is not strictly met, however this could be improved upon

The financial test is not met based on figures in the submitted report

Even, if the above tests were met fully met, then the application would fail on the Other Dwelling Test as it is understood that there is an existing building on the farmstead that has gained planning consent for residential conversion, and is located on the farmstead, so that the occupant shall be readily available to assist as necessary to fulfil the Functional Test.

The following comments have been received following the deferral of the application and further consideration of the application;

Further discussion with the applicant’s agent on the financial aspects of the case have been undertaken, which include accounts for 2009, and it is possible to confirm that there is sufficient profit being generated from the business to meet the financial test.

As per my initial message of 17 September (as conveyed above) I would confirm that the functional test is not met without the proposed increase in sheep numbers, and greater information being supplied to verify the proposed transfer of management / that transfer of management to the younger person has been achieved.

The time test is met when considering the agricultural contracting aspects of the business. Of greatest concern is the ‘other dwelling’ test, is not met, as there is a building on the holding that has received permission for conversion to a dwelling, and therefore suitable for the younger person to reside in.

Environment Agency - No objection in principle to the proposal. Further advice is given on foul drainage, soakaways, pollution control and waste excavation.

Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water - No objection to the proposal.

Neighbours/Public - A site notice has been posted and no objections have been received as a result.

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

There is no relevant planning history.

APPRAISAL

The application was deferred from the Planning Committee on 13 October 2011 in order to enable the applicant to provide additional information in relation to the financial aspects of the case, evidence on property prices in the locality and details regarding the use of existing outbuilding approved for residential use at the farm yard (E/22041).

THE SITE

The application site is a rural location adjacent to Cefntelych Farm, Pumsaint. A rough track leads to the farmhouse which has a few stone outbuildings to the south side of the track and a number of more modern agricultural buildings to the western side of the yard and north of the said dwelling. The site is a rectangular plot 30 metres x 32 metres on the northern side of the track, approximately 50 metres away from the farm yard.

THE PROPOSAL

This is an outline application for a dwelling with all matters reserved. The indicative Block Plan submitted with the application shows a dwelling 16 metres x 9 metres and a garage 8.5 metres x 7 metres. A chart included with the plans gives upper and lower limits to the dwelling and garage for indicative purposes which appears to extend the size of the dwelling and proposes a possible bungalow or house. In addition the garage dimensions are provided and appear rather large and elevated. However, the details in the Agricultural Questionnaire convey that it is for a farmhouse and if so, the dwelling’s relationship of affordability by an agricultural worker is questionable with these sizes.

The indicative proposal has an access drive leading from the farm track leading to the farm yard with acceptable parking fronting and to the western side of the curtilage on relatively level land.

The agricultural questionnaire conveys the holding has 79 acres of owned land, with the farm stock presently 130 ewes and proposed 320 with 400 lambs at lambing season and 40 turkeys. In addition it is conveyed that there are 3 full time workers presently and 3 proposed with 4 part time existing and proposed. The majority of the agricultural buildings that are used with the holding are to the south west of the application site.

PLANNING POLICY

In the context of the current development control policy framework the site is located outside the development limits of any settlement defined in the adopted Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan and the site is considered to be open countryside. The proposal falls to be considered against policies GDC3, GDC8 and H8 of the said plan.

Policy GDC3 of the UDP permits development proposals in the countryside subject to them being an essential requirement for agricultural operations and being appropriate to the character of the surrounding rural area.

Policy GDC8 of the UDP refers to the requirement to have full regard to the physical character and topography of the landscape.

Policy H8 refers to exceptions to the rural restraint policies in terms of residential development and agricultural dwellings fall within the exceptions.

The dwelling is to serve an agricultural need and therefore Planning Guidance, Technical Advice Note 6 –‘Agricultural and Rural Development’ (TAN 6) is also relevant, which was revised and adopted in July 2010.

CONCLUSION

Although there is in-principle support for agricultural/agricultural contractor’s dwellings in the countryside under TAN 6 “Agricultural and Rural Development” for the functional requirements of a farming business and rural enterprise, that support is subject to certain criteria with regard to the functional need of the enterprise, the financial standing of the business and availability of existing buildings at the farm or homes in the locality to accommodate any justified worker.

Whilst additional information has been received by the Head of Asset Management this application does not receive his suppor, because having evaluated the need for a second agricultural dwelling in accordance with the new TAN6 requirements, the functional test is not met without the proposed increase in sheep numbers, and greater information being supplied to verify the proposed transfer of management/that transfer of management to the younger person has been achieved. The time test is met when considering the agricultural contracting aspects of the business. Of greatest concern is the Other dwelling test, which is not met at all, as there is a building on the holding that has received consent for conversion to a dwelling, and therefore suitable for the younger person to reside in.

TAN 6 at paragraph 4.6.1e requires that for any new dwelling application to succeed; the functional need could not be fulfilled by another dwelling or by converting an existing suitable building on the enterprise, or any other existing accommodation in the locality which is suitable and available for occupation by the workers concerned. The agent has submitted property details from one Lampeter and one Llandeilo based estate agent and the properties range from £135,000 to £150,000. The search base of two estate agents is considered to be restrictive and a more detailed search to establish the extent of affordable dwellings in the locality is required. A Google web based search was undertaken in the office and a far greater number of dwellings with 2 bedrooms and above was established to be available for sale in the Lampeter, Llandovery, Llandeilo area.

The Planning Appraisal submitted with the application confirms that an outbuilding was approved at the farm in January 2010 for conversion into a dwelling under reference E/22041. That permission would allow for any justified second agricultural/contracting worker to reside at the site.

The Planning Appraisal briefly conveys in a couple of paragraphs that an end wall of the barn is in a poor condition and there would be a requirement to underpin the walls at the barn and the costs would be prohibitive. However, this detail has not been supported by any structural appraisal or detailed financial report. The barn conversion permission remains valid and if this agricultural dwelling is approved, the implementation at that barn conversion would result in 3 dwellings at the holding of only 79 acres. There is also a second outbuilding adjacent to the farmhouse which appears suitable for residential conversion with regard to which it remains that no information has been provided to ignore its consideration. The application therefore fails with regard to the ‘other dwelling’ test in that there is a building with an extant planning permission available for residential conversion at the farm.

The Head of Asset Management has conveyed that there is insufficient functional need for the dwelling based on the existing farming practice at the holding of 79 acres, the functional test could be met with the ewe numbers being increased to the level mentioned in the report, in retaining ewe lambs this could be achieved in 3 years; and evidence being provided to demonstrate that the business is being transferred to the younger person as per the exception to the policy (section 4.5 of TAN 6). At the present time with the farm management, there is no firm commitment to transfer the farm over to the son as required by 4.5 of TAN 6; it is conveyed that there is a possibility to pass over management within 5 years of consent being given for a second dwelling, which gives no security in terms of the TAN 6 transfer requirement. In addition, in terms of the functional requirement of the contracting work, it is considered that, it is unlikely that a person is required to be on hand day and night to deal quickly with emergencies that could otherwise cause serious losses of crops or products, unlike the welfare demands of a farmer.

In conclusion, the application for a second agricultural dwelling at the location proposed conflicts with the rural restraint policies of the adopted Unitary Development Plan and the national planning policy contained within Technical Advice Note 6 as the proposed residential needs can be appropriately served by the barn conversion approved under planning permission E/22041, and insufficient consideration has been given to the potential conversion of the outbuilding adjacent to the farmhouse Cefntelych.

The application is recommended for refusal on the following grounds.

RECOMMENDATION – REFUSAL

REASONS

1 The proposal is contrary to Policy GDC3 of the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan, which states:

2 The proposal, if approved would be contrary to Policy H8 of the Carmarthenshire Unitary Development Plan, which states:

3 The proposal, if approved would be contrary to paragraph 4.6.1e of Technical Advice Notice 6 “Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities”;