Gilestone Inquiry – National Park statement

A spokeswoman for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:

“We commissioned an independent inquiry into the planning permission
granted in May 2005 for a caravan site at Gilestone Farm. The inquiry has uncovered
some serious failings in the Authority’s treatment of this application and a
range of more general issues in relation to the planning service as a whole. The issues raised are extremely serious and we
have already begun the task of tackling them.


“At the National Park Authority meeting in March last
year we addressed a range of issues relating to our Planning Services.  We instigated changes in the staffing
structure including recruiting a new Head of Planning Services and two new Area
Planning Managers as well as a number of other staff.  Our Head of Planning Services has already begun
implementing a new strategy and action plan.   The Inquiry was part of a process of review
of our planning services and will assist the Authority in taking action to address some of the key problems of
that service. The Inquiry’s recommendations
include reviewing planning and complaints procedures, the provision of legal
services and improved processes for officers’ declarations of interest.


“We believe that sharing the findings of this inquiry and the
recommendations for change will help restore confidence in the Authority’s
planning work.  We hope that the public
will be able to appreciate that in sharing this report widely we are trying to
make good on past errors and to be transparent in all that we do.

“This matter is
deeply regrettable not only for those affected directly but also for those
officers who continue to work selflessly in the best interests of the National
Park and its communities.”


National Park Authority Meeting – 28 January 2008
Agenda & Report – PDF download