Planning application shifts from log cabin construction to pig farm

PLANS to legitimise the operation of a log cabin business near Welshpool could make way for a pig farm.

In November last year Nick Jones applied to change the use of agricultural land and buildings to accommodate log cabin construction, sawmill, and all associated works at The Gaer, Golfa.

This is the fourth time in two and a half years he has submitted the application which is to change the use of the land and buildings from agriculture to log cabin construction, sawmill, and timber yard.

Mr Jones rents out the site to local company British Log Cabins who build timber and log homes there and employ around 10 people there.

Powys planners have refused previous versions of the application due to road safety concerns.

Documents lodged with the application show that Mr Jones is willing to invite councillors up to the site to see for themselves the road access to The Gaer.

Mr Jones also points out that if the application is unsuccessful the property would revert to agricultural use.

This could see lorry traffic increase significantly on the road there if he were to rear animals in the sheds there.

Mr Jones said: “I have spoken to most of my neighbours, all of whom were of the opinion that there are much less heavy and disruptive movement on the road currently and they want to see this continue.

“With less farm traffic, there is also less mess on the road.

“I would like to invite you all to come and take a look at what we do and the unique, eco-friendly build and design, and meet the people who build them.

“BLC are so bespoke that it takes a very long time to build a cabin.”

In his letter Mr Jones says that it is “regularly talked” about that farmers need to diversify their business, but they can’t all start running “B&Bs”.

Mr Jones said: “Tourism alone is not the answer.

“As good as tourism and leisure is, it also creates problems such as traffic and people coming to the area buying up holiday homes, pricing the locals out of their areas.”

In the documentation lodged with the application, Tom Stockings of Stockcroft Ltd confirms that a contract to rear pigs at the site would be offered to Mr Jones if “planning does not go ahead for the change of use for log cabin construction”.

Mr Stockings said: “We feel the site is perfectly suited for pig finishing due to the large existing agricultural building with the adjacent manure store and lagoon.”

Local County Councillor for the area, Conservative Cllr Adrian Jones has indicated that he wants to “call in” the application to be decided by the Powys County Council Planning committee as he see it as of “wider public interest.”

Castle Caerenion Community Council said: “We have decided to support this application, as we have done so in the past, and on the basis that we support rural businesses where we can.”

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