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A PROPOSAL for “much needed” parking spaces in Dyffryn Ogwen has been given unanimous backing by Gwynedd Council.

Monday saw planning committee members approve Bethesda Community Council’s plans for the new £400,000 30-vehicle car park in Gerlan, which will also offer electric charging points.

The backing came following claims that the current lack of available spaces at Gwernydd was causing community friction as well as concerns that emergency vehicles would struggle to navigate blocked streets.

With members told that some buses had been forced to miss pickups in the village due to cars blocking their path, it was hoped that the new car park would at least alleviate the current issues with only enough existing spaces for approximately one in two houses.

Cllr Paul Rowlinson, the local councillor, asked committee members to back the plans amid the “real need” for such a facility.

He added, “Parking is the biggest issue in the community and while this won’t solve all the problems, it will make a big difference.

“I’d like to thank Bethesda Community Council and Cllr Dyfrig Jones who’s been pushing for this over several years.”

With the car park said to cost the community council approximately £400,000, Cllr Rowllinson said it would be repaid over a period of years from the proceeds of both pay and display and charged-for residents’ parking permits.

“A consultation found widespread support and more than enough demand for this,” added Cllr Rowlinson.

“I’d like to congratulate the community council for presenting these plans.”

The proposals had attracted opposition from some living near the proposed car park, however, with claims that not all Gwernydd residents had been notified of the application and that it would attract more visitors to the village and exacerbate the existing problems.

Cllr Steve Churchman, who seconded Cllr Elwyn Edwards’ proposal to approve, believed the plans would “ultimately benefit local residents”.

Cllr Simon Glyn also raised some reservations that the community council may face issues in repaying the loan if people were reluctant to pay for spaces, but the plans were ultimately backed unanimously.

According to the planning officers’ report, which also recommended approval: “It is considered that the proposal gives an opportunity to reduce the number of vehicles parking on the network of local roads and is acceptable based on protecting the safety of public highways.”

Bethesda Community Council’s supporting documents also stated: “Due to the narrow nature of the streets of Gerlan, residents do not have any formal parking facilites.

“This application attempts to offer a sustainable solution and offer a parking facility that’s truly needed for the residents of Gerlan.”

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