THE Welsh Government has rejected pleas to call in the 289-house development at Tirychen Farm, Penybanc.

Ministers had been urged to examine the application – which was granted by Carmarthenshire county council on March 28 – due to the scheme breaching current planning policies.

The Carmarthenshire local development plan allows for the construction of 150 homes at the site, although that figure is set to be revised upwards when a new policy is released.

A 336-house scheme was rejected by councillors in December, but the slightly reduced application was waved through by the county’s planning committee.

The move caused uproar among opposition groups, who claimed they were misled over the nature of the March meeting.

The Penybanc Action Group has said they were advised not to attend because no decision would be taken on the application – a claim denied by planning chiefs.

The outcry – and concern over the impact of the development on the Welsh language – led to a request that ministers re-visit the decision.

However, that plea has been dismissed, with Cardiff Bay stating that the issue was of local concern only. AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas slammed the decision.

“I fail to understand how a planning application for almost double the number of properties permitted by local planning policy will not be called in,” said Mr Thomas.

“The fact planning policies have been completely undermined in this way will have untold consequences.

“The decision by the Welsh Government shows that planning policies are not worth the paper they’re written on. It looks as though planning authorities are free to ignore development limits whenever they want.”