PLANS for a new 22-home development in Drefach were given the go-ahead by Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee this week.
The committee heard that concerns had been raised by local residents about the development, which was adopted for housing under the 2014 Local Development Plan.
Introducing a report, Planning Officer Jonathan Thomas noted that the application had been subject to delays to allow councillors to visit the site and for the applicant to submit an impact assessment for the resident dormice.
He explained that the outline plans, for 20 4-5 bed open-market detached properties and two affordable homes, would see a new access route built from Heol Blaenhirwaun to the north, and the existing road at Bron yr Ynn would be widened and brought up to adoptable standards.
Mr Thomas acknowledged that there had been concerns from local county councillors and the community council, which centred on the potential for the new access to cause a ‘rat run’ through the estate.
Recommending the plans for approval, he noted that other objections were either covered by planning conditions or answered in the report.
However, local county councillor Aled Owen addressed the committee, noting that the site visit should have allowed them to see the infrastructure concerns inherent in adding 22 homes to an ‘unsuitable road’.
He added that there were concerns about the entrance from Heol Blaenhirwaun, which would be near the school, and suggested the road would be used as a short cut for people travelling from Tumble to Cross Hands.
Cllr Owen also raised concerns about a lack of traffic calming measures, and noted that the new road would cause to loss of a flat green space used for seating suggesting that a different access route would alleviate some of these issues.
Cllr Eirwyn Williams asked what measures would be put in place to protect wildlife, specifically dormice, during construction. He was told that the application ahd been delayed while this matter was sorted, and seasonal controls and mitigation plans put in place Mr Thomas added that under the European Protected Species licence failure to achieve this could see the licence withdrawn.
Stating that he was ‘not happy’ with the application, Cllr Kevin Madge asked whether widening the road would have any effect on the elderly residents who currently parked there. He also suggested that flashing lights be fitted at the junction onto Heol Blaenhirwaun, and asked what the financial contribution towards local recreational areas would be.
His concerns about the new entrance were echoed by Cllr Dorian Phillips, who asked whether the existing entrance would be sufficient on its own. Cllr John James also asked whether the entrance would be too close to the school.
Highways Officer Kevin James explained that Bron yr Ynn would be widened and footpaths would be fitted on both sides.
The spaces where cars were currently parked would be turned into residents’ parking areas.
He added that there would be a speed hump on Heol Blaenhirwaun near the entrance, and the entrance itself would have good visibility.
Cllr Dot Jones suggested that the speed bumps did not prevent speeding on that particular stretch, and people even overtook in the 20mph area.
Councillors were told that moving the new entrance from its proposed position would lead to a large reduction in the size of the plot due to the gradient of the land.
10 councillors voted in favour of the application, with four voting against and three abstaining.
Police report finds no ‘major shortcomings’ in use of force
DYFED-POWYS POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, has conducted a review of police officers’ use of force, and is assured that there are no major shortcomings.
The full report on the review of the use of force will be shared with local Police and Crime Panel members at their public meeting today (Nov 16).
This scrutiny review signifies a new, enhanced approach to the Commissioner’s continued commitment to holding the Force to account, for the delivery of an efficient and effective police service for the residents of Dyfed-Powys.
Sparked by national requirements to improve transparency around officers’ conduct, recent controversy around the introduction of spit and bite guards, and feedback from the inspectorate, the review involved consultation with the public, officers and staff, independent scrutiny of incident footage and a detailed review of available data.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I have been encouraged by the Force’s response to my office undertaking this work, and thank all those who contributed honestly and thoroughly to the review. I would also like to thank the members of the public who were willing to share their views with us, through my online survey and in person at the various events my team and I have attended over the summer months.”
Whilst the review found no significant concern to suggest that force is being used inappropriately by officers, it was identified that under-recording and limitations in the current systems require some improvement.
A series of recommendations have been accepted by the Chief Constable, Mark Collins, who has detailed the Force’s planned course of action in a formal response to the Commissioner.
The Commissioner’s office will use this action plan to review the Force’s progress over the coming months.
Superintendent Craig Templeton, Head of Operations, said: “We welcome this scrutiny by the Police and Crime Commissioner and accept there are improvements to be made. Work has already started to address the recommendations, including changes to the Use of Force recording system and introducing Body Worn Video, to make scrutiny easier. We are confident force is used legitimately in Dyfed-Powys Police and will continue working towards achieving accurate recording.”
The Commissioner is committed to continuing this approach and will be looking for the public to get involved in future engagements and consultations, details of which will be available on the Commissioner’s website, or through contact with the office.
Tributes paid to woman following Lampeter death
TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who died after she was assaulted in a town centre on Thursday (Nov 8).
The woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries following the attack in the Bridge Street area of Lampeter, Ceredigion. The incident happened at approximately 6pm.
Dyfed-Powys Police have formally identified her 39-year-oldold Katarzyna Elzbieta Paszek.
Her family said in a tribute: “As a family we are distraught by our loss of Katarzyna who was 39 and from Lampeter area. She was a loving mother, daughter, sister and aunt and was loved by so many.
“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”
Two of the four men who were originally arrested in connection with the assault have been released with no further action.
A 40-year-old man remains in custody and a 27-year-old man has been released on bail.
Det Ch Insp Anthony Evans said: “This is now a murder enquiry and I am appealing to anyone with information that could help the investigation, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is, please get in touch.
“I would like to reassure the public that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.”
H.M Coroner has been informed, the police have confirmed.
Four men from the Lampeter area were arrested in connection with the incident.
A 40-year-old man remains in police custody. A 27-year-old man has been released on police bail.
A 31-year-old man has been released with no further action, and a 37-year-old man has been released with no further action.
The police said that anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.
Three teenagers accused of ‘trashing’ caravan park
THREE teenagers appeared at Swansea Crown Court this week accused of ‘trashing’ a caravan complex in Llandeilo.
Maximilliam Langford, aged 19, Daniel Sieuw, 18, and James Wright, 19, were before Judge Keith Thomas for a plea and trial preparation hearing.
Paul Hobson, prosecuting, said it was his case that the three had been involved in a joint enterprise to wreck caravans and other buildings, some of them used as dwellings.
Langford, of Heol y Garreg Las, Llandeilo, admitted burgling a log cabin and four caravans at Taylors Wood, Gwynfe Road, on May 2 last year.
He also admitted damaging a 4×4 vehicle belonging to Roy Taylor and a ‘military style vehicle’, also belonging to Mr Taylor.
Langford denied setting fire to a caravan owned by Lawrence Good and a caravan owned by Barry John Smith.
Wright, of Rhydfro, Llangadog, denied the burglaries and the charges of criminal damage but admitted the two charges of arson.
Sieuw, of Bryngwyn, Llandeilo, denied all nine charges.
Mr Hobson said the prosecution would proceed against the defendants on all the outstanding charges.
Judge Thomas laid down January 29 as the start date of a three-day trial.
All three were granted bail meanwhile.
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