A scheme for a rural enterprise dwelling for the family of a local welder and firefighter was backed by county planners despite an officer recommendation for refusal.

Richard Rees, of D A Rees Welding, sought permission for a four-bedroom rural enterprise development, together with ancillary works, on the site of a previous dwelling known as ‘Ty Newydd,’ just under a mile from Tregaron, in association with the welding business which is operated by the applicant’s family at Maesglas, some 350m away from the application site.

A report for Ceredigion planners, at their December development management committee meeting, said: “The site is on the former siting of a dwelling known as Tynewydd, however, apart from a few stones nothing of the former dwelling remains.”

A full planning application for the same development was refused in January on grounds that there was no justification for the dwelling in an open countryside location and was therefore contrary to planning policy, and that the development would result in a net increase in phosphates levels within the river Teifi.

The report for members added: “The proposed dwelling is required in association with the welding business which operates at Maesglas. D A Rees Welding designs, manufactures and wholesales a range of agricultural, builders and general-purpose trailers.

“At present, the father and applicant work together in the business, however, it is intended for the applicant and his partner to move out from the family home (at Maesglas) and to build a house to be located on the land at Maesglas due to the needs of the business.

“The intention of the business plan is to increase productivity and expand, however to do this they need to ensure that both can live on site to enable the business to be fully operational. In the coming years the father will take a step back from the business and slowly allow the applicant to take over the welding business.”

The report, recommending refusal, finished, saying the scheme did not represent a development compliant with the qualifying criteria for a rural enterprise dwelling and would have an adverse impact the character of the area.

The scheme had been brought to committee at local member Cllr Ifan Davies’ request, saying that, in his opinion, it was compliant with policy and guidance.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Rees, a fireman at the nearby Tregaron station, said work at the family business, and the need to be on-call as a firefighter, led to a need to live locally, with no appropriate homers on the market.

Councillor Gareth Lloyd said policy could often not correspond with the rural way of life, adding: “I don’t understand how this is not TAN6 [policy]. I’m happy to propose we give this permission.”

As any approval was against recommendation it would invoke the ‘cooling off’ period where planners supported it in principle, with a site inspection taking place at a later date.

Cllr Davies described going against officer recommendation as “a grey area rather than a major departure” from policy, adding: “I think that the site visit would actually strengthen the application, the need is there, they are working very, very long hours and the need is there to be on-site.”

The application was approved, subject to the ‘cooling off’ conditions.