TWO Gwynedd caravan sites have received approval in their bids to open all year round.
During Monday’s planning committee meeting, both Fferm Gelliwig in Botwnnog and Glyn Caravan Park in Abersoch received the green light in their respective bids to open for 12 months of the year.
Members were told that measures would be in place to ensure that neither site could become anyone’s permanent home, following Welsh Government guidelines aimed at assisting the tourism industry to survive the long term effects of COVID-19.
Prior to the removal of the previous condition, Glyn could only open between March and October every year.
But recommending approval, the report stated there were no plans to add to the 25 static caravans currently on site – said to be of high quality, well screened and suitable for use during winter months.
Despite concerns being raised by the local community council that the site could become “an estate of new permanent homes” and set a precedent for other sites, it was stressed there would be a condition to ensure that the static caravans could only be used for holiday purposes and that a register would be kept of the names of all occupiers, the duration of their stay and the address of their main residence.
Cllr Dewi Roberts, however, sought assurances on how the conditions could be policed, saying he was concerned of how the bid would be looked upon locally with Abersoch being “almost impossible” in terms of affordable housing.
Meanwhile, the similar proposals at Fferm Gelliwig were approved with the support of local councillor, Gareth Williams.
Cllr Williams, in a statement, disagreed with the concerns of Botwnnog Community Council that the move could place more pressure on local health services, describing the caravan park as having been run by local people for 50 years and that many of the occupants supported local businesses.
He added: “It’s a pleasure to see local people succeed and I have come to know many caravan owners over the years.
“I see them often in local shops and socialising at Ty Newydd Sarn, rather than bringing their shopping with them.
“I would only ask that residents are not permitted to register their caravans as their main residences.”
The report noted that the caravans at Gelliwig have been purchased by their occupiers, and are encouraged to understand and respect Welsh culture with a bilingual policy throughout.
Both applications were approved unanimously.