Council planners left with egg on their face after chicken shed blunder

By Liam O'Callaghan in Community News

A FORMER abandoned chicken shed near Monmouth has come under fire after it emerged the converted holiday home had been “completely rebuilt".

The legitimacy of the Chickenshed building conversion in Trellech was debated, before Monmouthshire County Council’s planning committee approved the modification of its plan.

The owners of the holiday let applied to substitute the original plans with plans as built, with slight changes to the dimensions of the building.

However, it was an opportunity for the committee to reflect on a number of errors in the planning process which began when the conversion was originally approved in 2012.

Planning officer Mark Hand said: “The key issue about this was during the conversion of the property we essentially ended up with the rafters of the building left on some acrow props and the building being completely rebuilt around it.”

Mr Hand said the conversion had been approved under past policies which were much more relaxed and with the benefit of hindsight it might not have been approved.

John Gooding from Trellech United Community Council spoke of the council’s objections to the conversion, he argued nothing structural from the original building remained.

Mr Gooding said: “If the planning department had done its job properly the Chickenshed would never have been approved for conversion, and after approval had been given, if enforcement had done its job properly it would have been demolished.

“This is not just sour grapes, the message that has been sent out to the community, people think they will be able to follow the precedent which has been set here.”

However, Mr Gooding did concede: “We believe that measures are in place to make sure it won’t happen again”.

Owner of the property, Sue Peacock, reminded the committee of the architectural recognition and tourism the building had brought and how the only issue before them was the changes in dimensions.

She said: “I cannot take responsibility for what other people seek to do by misreading the current policy.”

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