Calls have been made to make proposed new playing fields in Machynlleth open the to the public.

Powys County Council wants to construct a new rugby pitch for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen on marshland near the Dyfi River.

The new pitch is needed as the current school playing fields are earmarked for development as part of the new campus proposed for Ysgol Bro Hyddgen.

At a meeting of the council’s planning committee, members looked at a proposal from Heart of Wales Property Services (HOWPS) on behalf of Powys council to construct a rugby pitch on land to the northwest of the school.

Cllr Phil Pritchard, noted that it said in the plans that the sports pitch would only be for the use of the school and: “not be open for the general public or any other teams use.”

Cllr Pritchard, said: “I note this application with interest as it’s much needed in Machynlleth and many of our other towns.”

He pointed out that in Welshpool, where he represents the Castle ward discussion had taking place and an agreement made to allow the sporting facilities at a primary school there to be open outside of school hours and holidays.

Cllr Pritchard said: “It’s a total waste of money having it stand idle outside of school hours and in holidays.

“It belongs to the school but at the end of the day we are Powys County Council, and we should be providing for all of the people.

“It cannot be right that we want to spend big sums of public money, for somewhere only open when the school is, it’s not even 10 per cent of the year.

“I would like that looked at again, there are many organisations in the community who would love to have access to this.”

Planning officer Luke Jones told the committee that he had discussed this with the agents who confirmed it would be for the school’s sole use.

Mr Jones said: “Access will be by a footpath, if it was open to the public, it would increase the vehicle movements which has not been assessed.

This lack of a traffic assessment was a reason behind the school’s sole use condition.

Cllr Hywel Lewis said: “Being a former pupil of the school, I know the area very well.

“The proposed field is very wet and boggy.

“I would have thought an engineer’s report would be needed to see if it can be successfully drained to accommodate a sports field.

“There’s no downward slope of anywhere for the water to drain to.”

Mr Jones said that a separate SUDs application for drainage had been submitted.

Cllr David Selby said: “In my view we have a good and simple application in front of us and I propose we accept it.”

Cllr Linda Corfield seconded the proposal.

Councillors supported the application with 14 voting in favour and one against.