A controversial development to build houses on land prone to flooding on the outskirts of Caersws has resurfaced, after new developers looked to amend the planning approval.

In June, Machynlleth based Towyn Marine Properties Ltd lodged an application with Powys County Council to make “non-material amendments” to the outline planning approval for 43 houses, sheltered housing and a bus layby at Pen y Borfa, Carno Road, Caersws.

The developer wants to change the outline planning permission by deleting mention of the 'sheltered housing proposal' from the written approval.

This would allow the number of residential units earmarked for the site to be “reduced” due to “flood constraints within the site.”

This would then form the basis of a future detailed planning application for the site.

Senior planning officer Rhian Griffiths said: “The proposed amendment relates to altering the approved description of the development, with the intention of reducing the number of dwellings at the site.

“This is proposed due to updated flood mapping which is now available through the flood maps for planning, which include a larger proportion of the site within the flood extents.”

Ms Griffiths added that there was “no indication” of how many dwellings would now be proposed for the site.

Ms Griffiths said: “Whilst avoiding the flood zone could be considered as suitable grounds for a reduction in housing density, it cannot be confirmed as the LPA (local planning authority) do not have sufficient information at this time.”

Ms Griffiths believed that as the change had been asked for to avoid the area in the site that floods it is “assumed” that any development would be built outside that part.

Residential development within flooding areas is considered as “highly vulnerable.”

Citing the case law of Finney v Welsh Ministers (2019) Ms Griffiths explained that altering the approved description of the development is more than a minor material amendment if it “conflicts” with the approved development.

Due to this Ms Griffith refused the application and said: “A new planning application would therefore be required for the proposed change.”

The original outline planning application which had been submitted by Geraint Jarman was eventually approved by the council’s Planning committee in February 2020.

Opponents to the scheme due to the flooding issues with the site were told that the fight to stop the development had effectively been lost 15 years earlier when it was considered for the Unitary Development Plan for Powys.

While some councillors at the meeting felt uncomfortable with the plans the fact that the land has been included in the council’s development plans for a decade, meant they had little option but to approve the proposal.