MP refused planning permission for Llandrindod shop

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Tuesday 8th March 2022 7:00 am
Fay Jones inset over her Llandrindod Wells office
Fay Jones inset over her Llandrindod Wells office (Fay Jones and Google Street View )

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Fay Jones has been refused planning permission to change the use of a building in Llandrindod Wells from a shop to office, and to install UPVC windows.

In March 2021, Ms Jones, the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire applied for retrospective planning permission to change  her constituency base at Leamington House on Temple Street from retail to office use.

She also wanted to replace a “rotting wooden door and window frame” with similarly coloured UPVC – which is a form of plastic that is used as a wood substitute.

Letters lodged with the application say that the UPVC windows were needed as a security measure for MPs.

Llandrindod Wells Town Council had objected to the application as it is in the town’s conservation area and the expectation is that wooden replacement windows would be used not plastic.

Llandrindod Wells Town Council said: “Historically, other applications have been refused for this exact point.

“The council feels if this application is approved this will set a precedent for other applications within the conservation area”

The plans to make changes to the yuilding were done following advice from the Houses of Parliament’s security and policing teams, Fay Jones has said.

“The planning application was made after recommendations by Parliament’s security and policing teams,” said Ms Jones.

“Our options are limited as the Parliamentary security team have installed measures designed to protect the safety of those working in MPs’ offices.

“All too sadly the murder of two MPs and attacks upon offices, including here in Powys, in recent times has exemplified the need for secure premises.

“We have received a warm welcome since opening the office and hope that we can continue to make ourselves available to the people of the Llandrindod Wells area.

“Added to which it would be a great shame to see another shop go ‘dark’ in the Town.”

On whethere the decision will be appealed, Miss Jones said: “Given our commitment to the town, we’ll explore all options before making a final decision”

Powys County Councillor for Llandrindod East/West Jon Williams said he was supportive of the change of use application.

But on the window replacement Cllr Williams said:  “I do not support the replacement of the wooden window and door with UPVC replacements, as this property lies within the conservation area so goes against policy.

“Other properties within this area have also be bound by this policy and to treat this application differently, without mitigating circumstances, would be unfair.”

The Powys County Council planning report said: “Justification has been provided in support of the application justifying the requirement of UPVC windows based on security grounds.

“When pressed for additional information, it was confirmed from correspondence that UPVC was considered the most cost effective and quickest way to provide security to police recommended standards.

“No evidence however has been further provided which confirms that the existing timber windows and doors was considered either less secure and that alternative options were otherwise first explored.

“On this basis, I do not consider that the reasons put forward as above overrides the concerns raised above to the character and appearance of the conservation area.

“I therefore confirm that the proposed development is considered to be contrary to relevant planning policy and the recommend refusal.”

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