The Civic Centre in Pontypool
The Civic Centre in Pontypool Credit: Cwmbran Life

PLANNERS will decide if a farmer can build a new barn on his land in a ‘sensitive landscape’ area of Gwent. 

Mark Fisher was previously told he couldn’t put up a new barn on his Ty Llwyd Farm at Church Road, Llanfrechfa near Cwmbran because his local council questioned if it was needed for agricultural use. 

Despite reducing the size of the proposed barn, to 20.1 metres in length and 5.1 metres tall at its highest point, Torfaen Borough Council has again ruled a planning application will have to be made. 

Mr Fisher had wanted the council to agree as an agricultural building it could be built without having to make a planning application. 

But planning officer Tom Braithwaite said buildings must be designed and sited satisfactorily to assimilate within the local landscape without causing visual or environmental harm to not require the council’s prior approval. 

Though the scale of the building has been reduced the council previously required prior approval, which it refused, due to “its scale, distance from ecological features, and positioning within a sensitive landscape” and said those factors still mean prior approval is required. 

Mr Fisher has also been told he will have to provide the council details of the scale and height of the eastern elevation of the barn. 

His application said the barn, 42m from the farmhouse, would have made an existing track that crosses the root protection area of a 250-year-old oak tree redundant, protecting the tree. 

The farm is within the council designated South Eastern Lowlands Special Landscape Area and a site of importance for nature conservation is nearby.