Posted: Mon 3rd May 2021

Councillor who converted field without planning permission to face his own committee

North Wales news and information

A councillor who turned one of his fields into a hardstanding car boot site without planning permission could face a further setback in his hope of maintaining its present use.

2019 saw Anglesey Council launch an investigation after Cllr Eric Wyn Jones was alleged to have allowed the work –  including removing topsoil, placing aggregates, widening road access and installing new gates – at a field he owns on the outskirts of Llanfairpwll.

The findings of the investigation saw the council hand out an enforcement notice compelling Cllr Jones, who sits on the planning committee, to convert the land back to its original state – including the removal of all portacabins, portable floodlights and toilets stored there.

But after submitting a retrospective application in June 2020 to maintain the field as a car boot site, next week will see his fellow committee members tasked with making the final decision.

With officers recommending that the conversion should be partially refused, however, the application has also attracted local opposition in the form of seven letters from the public as well as an objection from one of the local members, Cllr Meirion Jones.
According to the report, among the objections are its original alteration without planning permission and a belief that its use as a car boot site would increase traffic along the A5 which flows through the village.

Also noting that “approval of this application would raise questions about transparency that an elected member has an opportunity to use his position through the planning process,” concerns were also raised that it was “not suitable for the site” and sits outside of Llanfairpwll’s development boundary.

Elected in 2017 as an independent member for the Bro Rhosyr ward, Cllr Jones listed ownership of Cae Prytherch on his register of interests and was also named as the applicant.

In his planning statement the member of the Anibynnwyr Môn opposition group noted, “The land is dually used for agricultural storage purposes and under permitted development rights as a car boot site (up to 14 days of the year).

“In order to make the site fit for purposes as a car boot site, it is considered necessary for the land to be covered in hard surfacing. Unless this was the case, the site cannot be run successfully as a car boot site.
“The site is considered to be much more sustainable and accessible in comparison to other car boot sites on Anglesey, which are predominantly reliant upon private transport to provide access.

“The site has been used for car boots in the past and from a highways point of view, even prior to these works, it is proven to be a safe and accessible site, with no highway safety concerns being raised.”

The recommendation of Anglesey Council planning officers, which committee members will take into account when meeting next week, is to approve the alterations already made to the vehicle access, which are considered “reasonable and comply with local and national planning policies.”

However, it is also recommended to refuse permission for the engineering works already undertaken to create a hard surface instead of the previous agricultural land.

“The retention of the hard surface for is considered unsustainable, does not enhance the character or appearance of the site, does not integrate into its surroundings and is an excessive overdevelopment of the site,” say officers.

A decision is expected when Anglesey Council’s Planning Committee holds its next virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 5.

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter



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