A Powys councillor could see the value of a house he owns rise by £110,000 after colleagues agreed to scrap a restriction on who can live there.
Dai Davies’s four-bedroom detached property near Berriew was built in 2005 after approval as an agricultural dwelling, only for someone in farming.
The district valuer said that cut its market value from £345,000 to £235,000.
Some members voiced doubts over the request to lift the restriction. Mr Davies declined to comment.
Officers said councillors should treat it like any other application.
The house had been on the market from November 2016 to June 2018 at £235,000 when the application to remove the restriction was made, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
In a report, planning officer Bryn Pryce recommended approval based on the independent valuation.
He said the price had been “fair” but the removal of the condition was “justified by robust marketing evidence”.
However, Liberal Democrat councillor Francesca Jump said she was “very uncomfortable” with the request to lift the restriction, and felt the property was already unaffordable to many.
“I have no objection to agricultural workers living in beautiful houses, but seeing as it’s not affordable now, I think it’s awful and don’t want to agree to this,” she said.
Fellow Lib Dem councillor David Selby added: “I thought the market was that you reduce the price until someone is willing to pay for it.
“I’m uncomfortable being on this committee voting to give another member of this council £110,000.”
However, committee solicitor Colin Edwards warned councillors: “You must try and put the identity of the applicant out of your mind.
“Members of the authority do make applications and you have to treat them just like you would any other person’s application.”
At an earlier meeting in January, members were told that such applications would normally be approved by officers without any reference to the committee if they came from ordinary members of the public.
Mr Davies was not present at the meeting, where his application was passed by eight votes to three with three abstentions.
Source: BBC NEWS
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