Officials protest Charlotte Church’s plans to open an eco-friendly wellness retreat in the Welsh countryside

Charlotte Church’s dreams of opening an eco-friendly wellness retreat in the Welsh countryside hang in the balance after officials objected to the plans.

The Voice of an Angel star spent £ 1.5 million on fashion designer Laura Ashley’s former home in Elan Valley, Powys.

The 35-year-old plans to transform Rhydoldog House into a carbon-neutral wellness and healing getaway, including four log cabins on the grounds as tourist accommodation.

Read more: Charlotte Church trotted into the center of Cardiff and almost no one was aware that it was her

Agents on behalf of Mrs. Church have submitted a planning application to the Powys County Council for approval.

But highway officials have objected to the application due to concerns about the suitability of access to the retreat from a narrow country road, C1219, the Press Association reported.

They said the locations of the proposed additional vehicle crossings were unsuitable and also questioned the estimated extra daily traffic volume.

“The transport declaration includes a plan showing the perceived existing and proposed additional overpasses along the C1219,” wrote a highway official.

“A recent on – site inspection by the road authority concluded that a large number of these sites were in fact within third party areas and as such could not be trusted as formal overtaking sites.

“In addition, a number of the places were simply grass gates, which are also not acceptable.

“The applicant has proposed two additional bays to be created at the end of C1219, but none of these sites would accommodate a passing bay to a usable standard, nor have any details been submitted showing the construction of these. bays.

“Additionally, a bypass would be partially within third-party land, and it is noted that no notice has been given to the landowner.”



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The application estimates that the retreat and log cabins would create a total of 30 vehicle movements per day – 15 arrivals and 15 departures.

“The motorway authority takes note of the submission of travel speed data in the transport declaration, and although its limitations on available data are recognized, it will argue that the selected locations are not sufficiently comparable with this application site,” the official said.

“It is claimed that the actual vehicle movements generated by this proposal would be significantly higher than the 22 per day indicated in the transport declaration.

“In the light of the above, the road authority does not support this application, as the development, as proposed, will create an unacceptable risk to motorway safety.”

Natural Resources Wales also expressed its “concerns” with the application due to the “insufficient information” provided in the supporting documentation.

“To overcome these concerns, you should seek additional information from the applicant for protected sites,” the agency said.

“If this information is not provided, we will object to this plan application.

“We also recommend that, based on the information submitted to date, a condition of protected species should be attached to any given building permit.”

If the retreat gets the green light from the planners, it will provide accommodation for a maximum of 17 guests for three or four-day housing courses. There will also be four one-bedroom log cabins.

Chief Planner Llinos Hallett, of Asbri Planning Ltd, said in documents submitted to the council: “The client aims to restore both the buildings and the sensitive landscape environments, improve biodiversity and preserve and celebrate the history of the house; especially citing its previous ownership of Laura The Ashley family.

“The proposal contributes to the county’s vibrant tourism economy and is based on the principles of sustainable tourism, which offers a quality experience.

The Welfare Retreat will complement several existing tourist assets and is located within the recognized Mid-Wales Regional Growth Area, which supports tourism development.

“The proposal is considered to offer a markedly healing and mindfulness experience to its visitors and adds another very unique offering to the county’s tourism portfolio and in turn indirectly helps support the local rural economy.”

Planners have set a deadline of January 25 to decide the application.

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