Officials blasted in row over Chepstow yurts
3:20pm Friday 7th September 2012 in News
WHEN is a yurt not a yurt? – that was the dilemma faced by councillors this week.
A row over a development of yurts gathered pace as Monmouthshire council’s planning department was blasted for an alleged ‘catalogue’ of errors, by a councillor.
Confusion reigned at Tuesday’s planning committee meeting over what was originally permitted at Hidden Valley Yurts, in Llanishen near Chepstow.
It was maintained by Monmouthshire council the applicants Peter and Amanda Copp had lawful permission for five yurts.
But Matthew Kendrick, the agent for the applicants, said Monmouthshire council had originally granted permission for ten yurts and it was made “crystal clear” what they would be like.
He staged a fightback against an angry local who said the yurts were a “far cry” from the tents that could be erected in one hour, which was originally envisaged by him and 11 residents.
Cllr Debbie Blakeborough said the application was for five wooden decks to put the yurts on and not extra yurts which was suggested in the council’s planning report.
She said the matter has clearly divided opinion in the local area, but claimed there was a “catalogue of errors” in the planning process.
“These errors have been costly to those affected by what can only be called as incompetence,” she said.
The meeting heard there was also a dispute about the area where the yurts can be sited.
Mr Copp emailed councillors before the meeting, claiming Monmouthshire council’s planning department lost the plans and in the decision notice, M12334, the application boundary covered the whole field.
“Whatever happens today fundamentally you need to look at your process from day one to see what went wrong,” Cllr Blakeborough told planners.
Monmouthshire council’s head of planning George Ashworth said the unitary development plan is against more permanent structures like the yurts compared to a traditional campsite.
A planning report said the main issues were not the principle of development but the effect on residents and the surrounding area of outstanding natural beauty.
The application was refused.