Caerphilly County Borough Council Planning Committee has approved proposals for conversion of outbuildings next to Ruperra Castle into a residential community.
Caerphilly Planners had recommended all four applications be approved subject to a long list of conditions. Despite concern for the future of protected species living on the site, including bats, the Planning Committee voted to approve them on 28 September. Unless Julie James MS, Planning Minister in Welsh Government, decides to call in the applications decision letters approving the applications will be issued by the Council.
It has been three years since the current owners applied to convert two of the outbuildings and change their use to a private residential development with no proposals for the preservation of Ruperra Castle.
A Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust (RCPT) spokesperson said, “We are disappointed that Caerphilly’s Planning Committee has resolved to approve these plans as they will impact irreparably on the setting of the Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade 2* Listed Castle, and Grade 2 Registered garden and parkland, and do nothing to enhance the biodiversity of the area. A recent Ambio report showed Britain is bottom of the 14 nations for biodiversity, having lost more wildlife than any other G7 country, and been shown to be one of the most nature-depleted countries on the planet. Welsh Government Ministers are now looking at the proposals to decide if the matters raised by them are of national importance and if so, to call in the applications for their own determination.”
Caerphilly Planning Committee will consider proposals for conversion of outbuildings at Ruperra next week
Caerphilly Planners have recommended that controversial planning applications to turn outbuildings next to Ruperra Castle into a residential community be approved at a Planning Committee meeting next Wednesday.
It has been three years since the current owners applied to convert outbuildings and change their use to a private residential development with no proposals for the preservation of Ruperra Castle.
Ruperra Castle is a grade of the Grade 2* Listed Castle and Registered gardens and parkland, currently a ruin at risk of collapse, which has played a big part in the history of South East Wales.
Planners have recommended all four applications be approved subject to a long list of detailed conditions requiring prior approval. The decision will be taken by Caerphilly Councillors at a Planning Committee meeting on 28 September at 17:00.
Read the reports and watch the meeting live
The Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust want to ensure a better future for Ruperra Castle, and the precious listed surrounding buildings and gardens, and are campaigning to secure them to use for community benefit. The Trust believes a structural survey and repair schedule for the Castle and a holistic estate masterplan are needed before any decisions are taken on separate parts of the site.
They object to the current applications submitted in 2019 as:
A Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust spokesperson said “Thank you to the 85 organisations and individuals who objected. We know the community will be disappointed in these recommendations as the proposals would not generate the scale of resources needed to preserve the Castle and do not enhance the biodiversity of the area. The applications are premature in the absence of a comprehensive plan for the whole site. This proposed development conflicts with overarching Caerphilly Local Development Plan policies, comprising inappropriate development within open countryside and in a Special Landscape Area. With up to 36 people living in these apartments it would result in urbanisation of an otherwise rural setting. However, we are full of hope that the Planning Committee will make the right decision and refuse these plans on 28 September, giving the opportunity for a different future for this unique site and our heritage.”