A DILAPIDATED railway halt said to be the last surviving of its kind on the historic Manchester to Milford Haven railway will be saved and converted into a holiday let after councillors voted against planning officers.

In a bid to preserve Ceredigion history and railway heritage, the majority of members at Wednesday’s (January 13) development control committee voted against a recommendation for refusal for a change of use of Derry Ormond railway halt at Betws Bledrws near Llangybi.

The conversion will be allowed to go ahead, after an ecology report is prepared and considered, and the historic fabric of the building must be maintained, councillors said.

There were objections from Traws Link Cymru on the grounds its use could impact the desired plans for the rebuilding of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway and there were significant concerns about highway safety with the only access via a lengthy, narrow lane.

Ceredigion County Council planning officers deemed the application a new build as the condition of the building was beyond repair but the applicant, with support from others such as Gwili Railway and the Great Western Trust, believed it would be possible to convert it without demolition.

Local member Cllr Odwyn Davies requested the committee considered the application because there is “local appetite to see the building salvaged and re-used” but he raised road safety concerns at the virtual meeting.

Cllr Maldwyn Lewis proposed approving the proposal to “save Ceredigion’s heritage and history,” with support from Cllr Dai Mason, and other councillors on the committee while there was some support for the officer view that it would be a new building in an open countryside location.

“It would be a great shame to lose this historical building,” said Cllr Mason.

Cllr Hinge added: "It's a project worth supporting as long as the building is put back pretty much as it was and using the same materials as in its heyday.”