Threatened Tycroes firm is ‘saved’ by council
5:00pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in Ammanford news
CARMARTHENSHIRE county councillors have thrown a lifeline to a Tycroes family firm which faced being forced out of business through a spate of thefts and vandalism.
The owners of Quad Challenge, a quad bike and paintball centre situated in a remote area off Pontarddulais Road, wanted to build a log cabin to enable them to live on the site - and therefore deter would-be thieves and vandals.
But county planners felt a permanent presence on the site was not justified and recommended refusal.
However, after learning that failure to grant the planning application could directly lead to the business folding, members of the planning committee voted to allow the three-bedroomed log cabin to be built to accommodate applicant Peter Flowers and his family.
Planning chiefs had earlier argued there was “no essential need” for a 24-hour presence on the site and that “security alone is not sufficient for a development in the countryside”.
Head of planning Eifion Bowen - who described his officers’ decision as “finelybalanced” - indicated they would be prepared to re-consider if Mr Flowers’ insurers insisted a 24-hour presence was essential.
Local councillor Calum Higgins said other local businesses benefited from the trade Quad Challenge brought into the area.
“I see no objection to having a log cabin there,” he said.
“It’s hidden from view and would not spoil the surrounding countryside.
“I’m concerned that if we don’t allow this the business would close down and we would lose a valuable rural amenity.”
Cllr Peter Cooper said the reason the Flowers family were currently living in a static caravan on the site was one of necessity. “This is a very successful business in a very isolated location,” he added.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Flowers said he was “very pleased” at the outcome.
“We would like to thank the local members who spoke up for us,” he added.