A PLANNING inspector has upheld the decision to refuse planning consent for holiday chalets outside Trefonen.

Last summer Shropshire Council's planning department refused outline permission for the three buildings on the 10-acre hillside site at Summerhill, despite the parish council supporting it.

Mr and Mrs Gaddoura, the applicants, appealed the decision, but planning inspector Jan Hebblethwaite dismissed their case.

She said council planning policy discouraged new-build holiday homes in remote areas, and could not make an exception on economic grounds as she thought chalet residents unlikely to use Trefonen's village facilities.

A report, due to go before Shropshire's north area planning committee on Tuesday, May 28, says Ms Hebblethwaite visited the area in March.

Ms Hebblethwaite writes: "The site is located in the countryside some five minutes' drive from Trefonen.

"The chalets are proposed to be built within the extensive grounds of a recently-renovated cottage."

Council policy "confirms that development will be located primarily in community hubs and clusters", she writes. Building in remote countryside locations is "strictly controlled" otherwise but "may include small-scale new economic development diversifying the rural economy".

While council planning policies acknowledge the importance of tourism, Ms Hebblethwaite writes, "where holiday accommodation is not a caravan and is not related to the conversion of existing rural buildings, development will be resisted."

She said the steep footpath leading from the village meant occupants of the chalet were unlikely walk to use the facilities there. They would be more likely to use their cars to go shopping or sightseeing and potentially bypass Trefonen entirely.

"The appeallant has described the potential for 'visitor spend' as a benefit of the development," Ms Hebblethwaite writes.

"I have some doubts that this spend would be in the locality.

"There is likely to be little by way of contribution to community benefits or the local economy."

Oswestry Rural Parish Council voted to support the Gaddoures' application when it met in August 2018, but Shropshire Council notified Mr and Mrs Gaddoura of their refusal in October.