Martin Buckle, Vice Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Planning, Access and Rights of Way Committee, said this week: “I am aware that there is a misconception that the TAN 6 policy has been significantly relaxed. Although the revised policy is specifically designed to help established farm businesses, this should not necessarily be viewed as a green light for development in the National Park.”
The warning comes after Brecon Beacons National Park Authority won an appeal case earlier this month, upholding its decision not to permit an application for a proposed second dwelling on a farm in Gwynfe, Carmarthenshire.
The Authority’s Planning Officers refused permission for the proposed second dwelling to be built at the farm on the grounds that there was insufficient justification for building the proposed development in the open countryside. The applicant appealed but the Authority’s decision has now been upheld by the Welsh Government-appointed Inspector, who ordered that costs be paid to the Authority.
The Welsh Government’s Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6: Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities has been revised in recent years to allow established farming businesses to develop another home to let future generations live on the farm. The Authority fears that TAN 6 has caused a perception in rural communities that the Welsh Government’s policy implies a much more relaxed approach in considering applications for rural enterprise dwellings and the creation of additional dwellings on existing farm units. The recent case shows that applications still need to be clearly justified on the criterion used nationally for justifying building in the open countryside.
Kevin Jones, Head of Development Control at Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, said: “Welsh Government and Local Planning Policies are designed to protect the countryside from inappropriate development and nowhere is this more important than within a National Park.
“Departures from these policies of restricting development in the open countryside need to be carefully considered and fully justified in accordance with national planning policies.
“85% of all applications determined by the Authority are approved and this is in part due to dialogue with applicants taking up pre-application advice, planning surgeries, and negotiations during the course of the application. I would encourage applicants to use these channels as much as possible.”