A caravan site owner refused five new spaces by Conwy county council is appealing the decision to the Planning Inspectorate Wales because he claims officers rejected it just to hit targets.
John Hughes of Tan y Bryn Caravan Park, Bryn Pydew, Llandudno Junction, lodged the appeal on June 16.
The original application was to change the use of 0.12 hectares of land and site five extra caravans, bringing the total number to 40.
The plan was officially rejected by Conwy county council on March 24 by a “senior officer”.
The reasons for refusal were:
“The proposed extension of five additional caravans would result in an appropriate cumulative 67% increase (from 24 to 40 units) in the number of caravans on the site during the local plan period, which is not considered to be small in scale, relative to the scale and extent of the caravan site.
“The proposed extension would also continue to advance on the prominent elevated sloping grassland alongside the highway and the incremental expansion would increase the presence and concentration of caravans and cause detrimental harm to the open character of the landscape.”
The council also said there was no statement detailing the “extent of impact on biodiversity and the appropriate biodiversity mitigation measures and enhancement features that may be required”.
However in a submission to the planning inspector on behalf of Mr Hughes it said an email on March 25 from a planning case officer “clearly indicated the application was still under consideration” as they awaited a response from the authority’s ecologist.
The appeal statement said: “Despite the case officer indicating the application was live and ongoing, he was clearly unaware his senior officer had refused the application the previous day.
“The decision of the team leader to issue a refusal was based more on a desire to achieve the eight-week determination target as opposed to due consideration of the proposal.”
He added that the decision was “prejudicial to the fair and reasonable determination of the application” particularly the ecological issues which the appellant maintained could be resolved.
Any comments on the issues must be with the Planning Inspectorate Wales by July 14 and the whole process should be completed between 14 and 29 weeks of the appeal start date.