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Hendy: Site bulldozed before objections are heard

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Concerned: Nia Griffiths MP

Concerned: Nia Griffiths MP

BULLDOZERS have moved in to demolish hedgerows, take up kerbs and cut down trees to make a new access for a proposed new building development near the Llwynbedw estate in Hendy, Carmarthenshire.

Residents contacted The Herald on Friday (Oct 23) to visit the estate as they were concerned that the contractors were in breach of planning procedures. Hedgerows are protected Under the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 (SI no 1160): It is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows (excluding those forming garden boundaries) without permission.

Residents told The Herald that Persimmon Homes has instructed contractors to move onto the site and begin clearing but that the planning process has not been completed. A sign on a nearby lamp post cited the date for closure for objections as 4/11/2015 Residents also claim that the new access to the site was not on the original plans they were privy to. Around 15 residents gathered at the site last Friday along with Nia Griffith MP and Lee Waters, the prospective AM for Llanelli. Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning department has been called into question yet again by the residents of the Llwynbedw estate who say that their requests for a planning enforcement officer to come out and see what was going on were ignored. Lee Waters said, “This company (Persimmon Homes) is a stock market quoted company a major home builder and they seem to be not complying with local planning permission, knocking down hedges, starting building before the planning process has taken its course. Here is an example where a company has clearly not obeyed the rules and it is for Carmarthenshire County Council to restore people’s faith in the planning process.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Nia Griffith MP told The Herald, “I think it is absolutely terrible when people wake up one morning to see machines tearing up the hedgerows and roadway assuming that they are going to get planning permission. There are proper processes. This should be going to a planning committee and it should be considered. All of the residents objections should be taken into consideration. An officers report would be produced and a sensible decision made with all of the evidence. When people are allowed to ride roughshod over the rules it opens the flood gates for others to do the same. My concern here is we have not yet seen the enforcement officers coming out to see what is going on. They should be on this like a tonne of hot bricks and really making sure that they keep on top of the situation and make sure that people can not get away with building without planning permission. People believe that there is a lack of consistency and that there is one rule for one and one rule for another. Their voices are not being listened to. I think it (Carmarthenshire’s Planning Dept) is going to have to do a lot to regain the public’s trust. There is a rumour going around that you can do anything in Carmarthenshire and you will get retrospective planning given to you.”

Huw Llewellyn, managing director for Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We can confirm that we carried out work at a site in Llwyn Bedw, Hendy.  This was preparation work for the development to divert existing overhead electricity and BT telephone wires, the work was undertaken utilising statutory undertakers’ powers and was not reliant on the planning approval.

Carmarthenshire County Council is aware of the work that has been undertaken and we have been in full dialogue with the authority. An agreement is in place that no further work is to be carried out before the completion of Section 106 agreement which will release the planning approval for the new development.”

In a statement by Carmarthenshire County Council Development Management Manager Julian Edwards he said, “The planning department has been made aware of works being carried out at the site in question, and the developers have been contacted to advise them that any works that constitute development, or the removal of any trees, should cease with immediate effect. The site will continue to be monitored accordingly, with the authority considering what action will be relevant and expedient. Additional works on the land, for example the raising or diverting of power lines, would not necessarily constitute development requiring formal approval, although the authority will monitor this element as well.”

Planning application S/31228 for the construction of 96 dwelling houses and associated infrastructure works was submitted by Persimmon homes in October 2014, and was publicised both in the local press and by means of site notices. Subsequent notices have also been displayed when amended details have been received, the most recent of which took place only last week. As yet, no target date has been set for consideration of the planning application.”

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Shock in Carmarthenshire as it’s named as one of the top locations for most reckless young drivers in UK

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CARMARTHENSHIRE has landed some unwanted publicity after being named as home to some of the most reckless young drivers in the UK.

According to comprehensive analysis by Adrian Flux, the county is one of the areas with the speediest teenagers on the road. On average 87.1% of FluxScore users there will receive a serious warning about their speeding compared to less than one in five in Conwy (17%).

The warnings are triggered by a black box that sits in the driver’s car to monitor their performance in the hope of improving safety and saving them money.

“This gamification style approach has helped sensible drivers save up to 60% for year-long safe driving upon renewal,” said Scott Goodliffe at Adrian Flux, one of the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance brokers.

“Unfortunately, some users are less attentive or cautious and their behaviour is a cause for concern because it leaves them more likely to make a claim or hurt themselves or others.

“It’s disappointing when alerts have to be sent but we’re proud that they are helping to change behaviour behind the wheel. We already know FluxScore is reducing the number of speeders across the board by 70% and hopefully this analysis will help address the small number who negatively impact these already impressive figures slightly.”

There are also considerable concerns about how quickly youngsters are travelling in Rhondda Cynon Taf with the area also being named and shamed in the top 10. It’s a much better picture in Conwy though with youngsters there being rated amongst the most careful drivers in the UK.

Adrian Flux’s self-fitting black box sits on the inside of the windscreen and tracks journeys. It helps reward safe driving by providing daily updates on the FluxScore app to show how the previous 24 hours’ driving has affected a driver’s renewal premium.

FluxScore sends alerts to drivers who it deems as driving dangerously or above the speed limit. The findings focus on Alert 2s, which are considered serious speeding events and take into account other factors such as the type of road. If a driver receives three Alert 2s, this will result in their policy being suspended.

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Local specialist contractors needed for countryside works

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is seeking local specialist countryside contractors for work on Public Rights of Way and conservation sites throughout the county.

Businesses in Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to tender for the countywide framework, which is for two years, starting in September with an option to extend for a further two years.

The work will include the management of nature reserves, mitigation for development and government funded habitat projects on sites with challenging conditions, ecological constraints, wet land and difficult access.

Examples of the work include path maintenance, installation of countryside furniture (stiles and gates), mowing overgrown fields, chainsaw and strimmer work, excavator work, woodland management, fencing and tree planting.

A proven track record and a good understanding of working in the rural and natural environment and knowledge of conservation is essential, as is an understanding of the way that the land changes in challenging weather conditions.

Applicants will need to make available vehicle inspection documents and maintenance records, certificates of operator competency (in relation to plant hire with operatives), health and safety policy and relevant insurance documents.

Any suppliers interested in tendering for this work need to be registered on the National Procurement Portal Sell2Wales website, where they can express their interest and receive further information.

This is a free online service and allows businesses to promote their organisation not only to the council but to other Welsh public sector bodies, and to receive notifications about contract opportunities suitable to their field of work.

The council also encourages businesses to register on the Business Wales Business Directory – a free resource where businesses can advertise their services.

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Police appeal for information after vehicle collides with two pedestrians

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POLICE say they are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision which occurred on College Street, Newcastle Emlyn just after 4pm on Monday 20th June.

A black coloured Honda CRV vehicle collided with two people on the pedestrian crossing.

A 70-year-old female sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital.

A 50-year-old female was taken to hospital by ambulance with what are described as minor injuries

The 64 year old female driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has information that could help officers with their investigation, or anyone who was driving in the area at the time and has dashcam footage, is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20220620-283.”

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