Decision due on singer Charlotte Church's Powys wellness retreat plan

Plans by singer Charlotte Church to turn the former home of Laura Ashley into a wellness retreat will go to councillors on Thursday.

Charlotte Church outside Rhydoldog in the Elan Valley
Charlotte Church outside Rhydoldog in the Elan Valley

But the decision over the future of Rhydoldog, in the Elan Valley, could ultimately be taken by a planning chief and two councillors.

Memvers of the planning committee will discuss the 'Voice of an Angel' star’s proposal to change the use of Rhydoldog House near Rhayader from a residential dwelling to a wellbeing and healing retreat.

Proposals include converting part of a barn to become an artist’s studio and store and installing solar arrays as well as other associated works.

A total of 22 parking spaces would be created, including 18 for the wellbeing centre, with at least two having electric vehicle-charging facilities.

The scheme was “called in” for a decision by the committee by former county councillor for the area Kelvyn Curry.

This follows a number of objections to the proposal, including one by Rhayader Town Council on the grounds of highway safety.

In her report, senior planning officer Kate Bowen explained that the highway authority believes that the development will increase the traffic along narrow roads by 85 per cent, leading to an increased risk of vehicles having to reverse and make way for others on the road.

Her report says: "The Highway Authority recognises that the development does not seek to build or introduce new buildings on the site; instead, it seeks to re-use existing buildings.

She says consideration must also be given to the proposed modest highway improvements of passing bays and carriageway widening which could be secured as part of the development.

“The Highway Authority have advised that such improvements would not only help to mitigate the effects of the development traffic, but they would also provide benefit to existing highway users,” she adds.

“Based on the advice received and subject to the use of conditions recommended by the Highway Authority, it is considered that the effect on highway safety is acceptable.”

She said the remaining objections to the proposal could be negated by a number of conditions placed on the planning permission that the applicant would need to comply with.

"Should members be minded to approve the application, it is recommended that the final decision is delegated to the planning professional lead in consultation with the chair and vice-chair of the committee.”

In a planning statement to support the application, agent Llinos Hallett of Asbri Planning Ltd said: “The proposal is considered to offer a distinctive healing and mindfulness experience for its visitors and further adds a very unique offer to the county’s tourism portfolio and in turn helps indirectly support the local rural economy."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News