A Gwynedd councillor’s bid to retain camping pods on a year-round basis has been turned down by the authority’s planning committee.

Cllr Anwen Davies, who represents Efailnewydd a Buan, had sought permission to allow the two timber pods to stay up for 12 months of the year, rather than only between March and October.

But members refused to amend the permission that was initially granted in 2015 after officers cited several planning policies that would forbid this.

The committee, meeting virtually on Thursday morning, was told that Plas yng Ngeidio in Boduan lies in designated open countryside, outside of any development boundaries but within a Special Landscape Area.

The application, said officers, would be akin to creating a permanent site and would contradict several planning policies.

The report stated: “Although the pods in question are located nearby existing buildings, a permanent development of this nature would be likely to cause harm to the visual quality of the landscape and it is therefore considered that the proposal is contrary to Policy PCYFF 4 and Policy AMG 2 of the LDP.”

Cllr Davies, who was not present in the online meeting, had defended the plans by claiming that, while it was possible to move and store the caravans, such movement would weaken and damage the pods, which were not designed to be transported back and forth.

But Cllr Simon Glyn felt that allowing the plans would “open the floodgates” to similar applications, complicated by the fact that the applicant was a fellow elected councillor.

Cllr Louise Hughes said that it wasn’t possible to “fiddle with conditions on a whim”, while Cllr Steve Churchman added: “I think that approving would be unfair on other applicants and drive a coach and horses through our policies.

“I feel for the applicant as there’s a cost associated with this, but they already knew that, and we have to be consistent.”

Cllr Eric Merfyn Jones, however, said: “It’s clear that pods shouldn’t be moved as they could be damaged.

“They look very tidy to me and can’t be seen from the road and this application hasn’t seen any objections raised by local people.”

But members voted by 11 to 1 against the application, meaning that Cllr Davies’ only course of action to retain the pods would be via an appeal.

Last year saw councillors also turn down separate plans by Cllr Davies for another eight pods to be occupied between March and October while remaining out of use for the rest of the year.

When contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Cllr Davies said that she wasn’t sure what her next steps would be.

She added: “It was only after moving the pods back and forth to storage that it became clear that it was damaging them and wasn’t feasible to carry on doing so twice a year.

“I must stress that we haven’t done anything without planning permission being in place, but I must say that I’m very disappointed with the decision.

“In reality, it would only mean the pods being allowed to be in place for another four months when they’re already up for eight anyway and would still only have been used between March and October.

“They are right near the house and can’t be seen from the road nor do they disturb anyone.”