The Community Council receives an invitation to an event that falsely says the Community Council is hosting.
To all members of Talybont-on-Usk Community Council and the Clerk,
You are invited to attend a public meeting regarding Welsh Government Plans for Gilestone Farm at Talybont-on-Usk near Brecon. The meeting will take place in the Henderson Hall in Talybont-on-Usk at 7PM on Thursday 2nd June.
There is a great deal that is not known, and our community needs its voice heard quickly and effectively and at a point where we may still be able to shape events rather than having to keep reacting to them.
Please come to give your views if you wish, but importantly to hear the views of local people. I attach a copy of the flier that has been posted to homes in this area.
The meeting is organised by the Usk Valley Community Action (UVCA), an informal group of concerned local residents.
The Council is advised from One Voice Wales that Councillors should not attend although they may attend as residents.
Councillor Cartwright has written to Powys CC for information.
She shares the reply:
Firstly, please note that Powys CC have confirmed that they not been directly involved in the acquisition of Gilestone Farm and that is a matter between Welsh Government, the former landowner and the Greenman Festival.
The following position was previously confirmed to the Greenman Festival.
In general terms Powys CC is very supportive of the Greenman Festival and its plans to establish a permanent base in Powys, at the same time expanding and diversifying its range of activities.
As with any such proposal we would of course need additional detailed information to consider the appropriateness of the proposed activities. Noting that any land use planning matters are for the Brecon Beacons National Park to determine and not for PCC.
Once further details are shared with the authority then they will consider them on their merits and within the relevant regulatory powers.
The concerns of the Community Council and local residents are noted however until further detail is provided there is little further that the authority can do at this stage.
I am also advised that should the Community Council wish to formally communicate with the authority on the matter then the most appropriate route would be via the portfolio holder for Prosperous Powys Cllr David Selby, whilst keeping me abreast of any developments.
The Council Requested a Statement from the BBNPA about concerns of the Greenman Festival locating at Gilestone Farm
At the current time Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) has not received details of any proposals for Gilestone Farm in relation to its recent purchase by Welsh Government. Consequently, it is not possible to provide comments specific to the site.
Planningandlicensingregulationsandproceduresarecomplex. Asabroadguide,the general processes which would apply to event licencing and change of use are summarised as follows:
1. Licensing of Events
The licensing authority for events in Powys is Powys County Council. Advice and guidance are available on the Council’s website:
Licences and Permits - Powys County Council.
i. Temporary Event Notices
(TENs – Temporary Event Notices – Powys County Council)
A Temporary Event Notice (TEN) allows an applicant to carry out one or more licensable activities at their premises for up to 168 hours. TENs can be used to authorise small-scale events involving no more than 499 people at any one time, subject to certain restrictions. There is no public consultation as part of this process.
ii. Premises License
(Premises licence - Powys County Council)
If a business sells alcohol or provides entertainment or late-night food or drink, it needs a premises licence. Large one-off events may need premises licences too. There is a consultation period of 28 days for authorities, local residents and businesses to support or object to an application.
iii. Protected Sites
If an event is planned to be held on a protected site such as a SSSI (or may impact such a site) it is the responsibility of the landowner to ensure the correct permissions are in place, this would depend on the nature of the activity. Natural Resources Wales would be the authorising authority unless planning permission is required (in which case the impact of the proposed activity would be considered as a factor within the planning permission process).
You can read more guidance on this here Natural Resources Wales / Sites of special scientific interest (SSSI): responsibilities of owners and occupiers (which also applies to SAC areas).
BBNPA would encourage all landowners and event organisers to talk to us about holding larger events. We could provide them with advice and encourage them to consider the impacts of the event on the special qualities of the National Park which would include its environment, communities, dark skies and peace and tranquillity but we do not always have any authority or powers to enforce this as we do not grant licenses for events. In the case where an event organiser wanted to use our land, we would of course have more control and we would also be consulted if an event required closure or diversion of a public right of way.
2. Changes of Use
A material change in the use of any buildings or land is classed as development. Planning permission is generally required for a material change of use, other than for changes which fall under permitted development, for example by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 and related legislation, and changes where both uses fall within the same use class.
Further guidance is available via this link:
Planning Permission- Change of use - Planning Portal
Applications for planning permission are assessed against policies in the Local Development Plan Brecon Beacons National Park Local Development Plan | Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (beacons-npa.gov.uk) and other material planning considerations. The process includes consultation with statutory and non-statutory consultees and the general public.
The Planning Aid Wales website provides guidance documents specifically for communities on planning matters which may be helpful: Planning Aid Wales – Community engagement in planning
The clerk has written to Vaughan Gething, the Minister for Economy at the Senedd.
He has responded:
Thank you for your letter of 20 May.
The Welsh Government purchased the site to support the growth ambitions of the Green Man festival. We want to harness the potential additional positive contribution of the festival and its brand to local businesses, the community and the Welsh economy and ensure the festival continues to have a permanent home in Wales.
I expect to be receiving a full business plan for the site in the near future, which will set out the activities to be undertaken throughout the year, including how the land will continue to be farmed. This will be subject to the usual robust due diligence processes used by the Welsh Government.
My officials will arrange to meet with you to discuss the concerns of the Council in more detail, once the plan has been fully assessed.
The clerk has written to National Resource Wales, for their position on the purchase of Gilestone by the Welsh Government and the tenancy of the Green Man Festival, Ltd. on the land.
They have responded:
'We are not aware that Gilestone Farm forms any part of the estate owned by NRW or managed by NRW on behalf of Welsh Government. NRW has not had any involvement in any purchase or lease arrangements for this property. Consequently, we have no declared position on the sale of Gilestone Farm and subsequent involvement of The Green Man (or other parties) as a tenant of the land. With regards to any future proposals for this site, NRW has a role as a statutory consultee to relevant planning applications and would respond as appropriate to any proposals included in any application for this location. In addition, there is an environmental permit at Gilestone Farm which was issued in 2021 and is regulated by NRW, further details of which can be found on our public register here. Any new or different activities that require an environmental permit or other permission would be considered through our permit determination process and would consider the detail of any application made.'
Following a fact-finding session with Fiona Stewart,
the Chair went through the outcomes of the session and asked all Councillors if there were any omissions or alterations to be made.
The chair then asked for next steps.
The agreed next steps were to write to the Welsh Government to seek clarity, understanding and further information around the decision-making process that led the Welsh Government to purchase Gilestone Farm and lease the land to the Green Man.
The Council voted to write to Brecon Beacons National Parks, PowysCC and Natural Resources Wales for a position Statement.
An information gathering session took place with the Community Council and Fiona Stewart and Ian Fielder of the Green Man Festival Ltd. on Sunday, 15th May. Notes from that meeting were confirmed at the Community Council Meeting of the 16th May. Here are the details.
News of the sale of Gilestone Farm to the Welsh Government is published on many platforms including the BBC.. "The organisers of the Green Man festival are going to run a farm bought by the Welsh government. Gilestone Farm, near Talybont-on-Usk, Powys, is expected to employ 174 people focusing on sustainable farming, local food and climate changeThe community of Talybont-on-Usk is alarmed.