Friday 13 February 2015

A slight hitch

It has been a while since we looked at the strange world of planning in Carmarthenshire, but this week saw one of the council's pet projects run into the buffers. Unusually, this case does not involve attempts to build on a flood plain.

The planning committee was all set to consider a planning application to build 250 homes on part of what will be the mammoth Carmarthen West development (1,100 to 1,200 housing units depending on which documents you read).

There were numerous objections from local residents, the Town Council and also the council's own Transport Manager.

Naturally, these had all been swept aside in the planning officer's report which recommended acceptance.

Then, at the last minute, the Welsh Government decided to intervene, expressing serious concerns about the implications for the road network.

A key element of the Carmarthen West brief is the construction of a link road, currently estimated to cost £5 million, but there is no money to pay for it. Undeterred, the council decided that it could plough on regardless, with the additional traffic using the existing road network, despite known bottlenecks. Unsurprisingly, the developer, Carmarthen Promotions Limited of King's Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, had also formed the view that there was no problem.

The council will now enter into discussions with Cardiff Bay.

A brief report on this month's very thin council meeting will follow in the next few days. Anyone wanting to see the original webcast (without the translator's voice over) will find that the video is not working.

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