A FORMER council planning committee chairman said he felt the intention of Wales’s One Planet Development policy was worthy but that it was viewed sceptically by many people in rural areas.
Cllr Alun Lenny said there was a perception that people in rural areas couldn’t get planning permission for homes for their sons, daughters or family members on land outside Carmarthenshire’s local development plan and yet One Planet Developments were “almost invariably allowed”.
He said people trying to gain rural enterprise dwelling approval, as it is known, needed to show they had been involved in agriculture, forestry or contracting for the past three years, whereas One Planet Development applications projected forward not back.
Cllr Lenny said another issue was around monitoring of One Planet Developments once they were up and and running to ensure they met various criteria. He put forward a motion at full council two years ago for the One Planet Development policy to be reviewed and potentially put on hold. It was supported by a majority of councillors.
The Plaid Cymru ward member for Carmarthen Town North and South said he felt consideration should be given to introducing elements of the policy – such as greater attention on sustainability – into the rural enterprise dwelling policy to “break down the wall” between them.
“The intention of the One Planet Development policy in this time of climate crisis is honourable, but in practice it is looked upon sceptically by other people in rural areas because of their experience in failing to get planning permission in their communities,” he said.
According to a group called the One Planet Council, Carmarthenshire has 14 approved One Planet Developments out of a Wales total of 63.