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Roundhouse plan for wellbeing retreat is approved

Visitors will be given the opportunity of stepping back through the mists of time, after a planning application was given the thumbs up.

A image included in the planning application of how the site may look
A image included in the planning application of how the site may look

Natasha Wilcock has been given planning permission to build a “Roundhouse” on land north of Felin Cadwnfa, Llanfihangel yng Ngwynfa, between Llanfyllin and Lake Vyrnwy.

She aims to turn a 2.8-acre site, 500 metres from her home into a wellbeing retreat called Hafan Iechyd – Nant y Pandy.

Mrs Wilcock runs her own nutritional therapy business, and the proposal would see aspects of her work seen and experienced by visitors.

Powys County Council’s senior planning officer, Kate Bowen said in her report that planning policy supports tourism development in the countryside and that the “principle of development” was acceptable.

Ms Bowen said: “Additional and revised information has been received which has addressed the highway authority’s initial concerns such that they have not objected to the development subject to the use of conditions.

“The site is located within a community identified as a Welsh language stronghold, given that the application does not propose 10 or more dwellings, the policy requirements are not applicable.”

Llanfihangel Community Council had backed the proposal but highlighted concerns about an increase in traffic as well as wanting “a clause included” to stop further development of the site.

Ms Bowen said that a condition removing permitted development rights for the building would mean that plans for any more would need to go through the planning process.

She recommended conditional consent.

A total of 16 conditions have been placed on the approval, including that the development is only for holiday accommodation and an up-to-date register with the details of visitors including home address, needs to be kept and be available for inspection by the council.

The development or site clearance also cannot go ahead until details of landscaping have been approved.

Mrs Wilcock had explained in her proposal that the off-grid retreat would offer “total immersion in nature” and give visitors the opportunity for “increasing health and wellbeing”.

Guests could be given advice on nutrition by Mrs Wilcock and also take part in yoga or cookery classes.

According to the document, the roundhouse will be made of timber, its insulation will come from straw bales and finishing materials will include clay and lime plaster.

Solar panels will provide the roundhouse’s electricity, water will come from a borehole or collected rainwater, and a compost toilet “will provide a natural means of processing sewage and waste hygienically".

The roundhouse will also have a turf roof which should allow it to “blend” into the landscape.

Roundhouses were a standard form of building throughout Britain for around 2,500 years during both the Bronze and Iron Ages,

They were even built after the Romans left, up to the fifth century AD.

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