Middle-earth Hobbit homes plan for mid Wales

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Tuesday 10th May 2022 9:21 am
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The Hobbit homes have been given planning consent

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FANS of the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings could soon be able to stay in accommodation fit for Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, but in Mid Wales rather than Middle Earth.

A planning application by the Powell family of Llwyn Gwilym Farm near Rhayader to build five “Underground Hobbit Holiday units, ” has been given the green light by Powys County Council planners.

But the application has been scaled down from 11 units to five.

They hobbit homes, inspired by the work of JRR Tolkein, will be a cylindrical shaped and formed of recycled waste plastic, creating high density polyethylene walls and ceiling, covered with turf with timber doors and windows.

The structures are self- supporting and will have earth above them with a grass surface.

Agents, Halls in a design and access statement said: “Hobbit homes are placed into the ground so the only part visible externally is the entrance door plus two windows.

Due to the sloping nature of the site a space will be excavated for installation of the home and then soil will be back filled around and over the surface of the home so that when viewed from a distance the viewer “will only see three modest scale windows set within the grassy slope.”

Halls added: “The existing access off the B4518 into the existing leisure enterprise is safe and adequate to support the proposal.

“A new private access to the site will lead to a parking area for 20 cars.

“This area will serve all the proposed hobbit homes.

“Whilst the proposal complements the existing successful tourism development it is also part of farm diversification activities at Llwyngwilym Farm.”

In her report senior planning officer Kate Bowen said: “The site is classified as grade four agricultural land and as such is not the best and most versatile land where loss is resisted.

“Therefore, the proposed loss of this land from agricultural use is not considered to conflict with Planning Policy Wales”

“The site is located within the catchment of the River Wye Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

“The number of units has been reduced to 5 from 11, thereby resulting in a decrease in the volume of wastewater generated.

“The council’s ecologist has advised that in assessing the revised proposal against current Natural Resources Wales (NRW) guidance, it is considered that the proposed development is not likely to result in a significant effect on the designated features of the River Wye SAC in terms of phosphate inputs.

Ms Bowen approved the application and gave it “conditional consent.”

Conditions the Powell’s will have to meet include that 10 per cent of the car parking spaces will need to have electric vehicle charging points.

And that the units will be used just for holiday accommodation only and not as a person’s main home.

A sustainable drainage application (SuDS) will also need to be approved by Powys planners before building work can start.

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