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Gwynedd county planning inspectors back National Park in holiday lets refusal

THE Planning Inspectorate has backed the Snowdonia National Park after it refused proposals to build two holiday lets in Aberdyfi.

The pair of semi-detached houses had been earmarked for a disused quarry at Craig-y-Lanch on the A493 leading into the village.

Submitted by Shrewsbury-based Les Stephan Planning Ltd, the outline plans were turned down by the park authority in July 2020 after similar proposals were also refused in 2018.

But after an appeal was launched with the planning inspectorate, an independent review has now fallen on the side of the park after inspectors remained unsatisfied with aspects of the proposals.

The park authority had refused the plans over the perceived impact on designated open space and other ecological factors.

In its application documents, the developers said that the plans would bring economic benefits to the popular resort, with the holiday lets designed to be a modern interpretation of the Victorian villas across the village’s seafront.

“The scheme would be of significant economic benefit to the area and local economy,” they noted.

“It would create full and part-time employment opportunities in the area. Due to its sustainable location near many tourist facilities and attractions, it is very likely that other tourist attractions in the area would benefit from the proposals.

“The nature of the accommodation allows the visitor period to be extended ensuring that economic benefits and employment are met all year round.

“The environmental role will be met as the scheme makes effective use of land. The proposals include the redevelopment of a disused quarry, which is classified as a brownfield site.

“By developing on this brownfield site, it will prevent further greenfield sites from being developed on.”

But Vicki Hirst, appointed to lead the appeal review for the Planning Inspectorate, found that the site was “somewhat separated from other development,”  adding:

“I find that while the site is clearly not used for any formal recreational open space, it is nonetheless an important green space within the surrounds and makes a valuable contribution to the visual amenities of the area and the setting of nearby buildings within the town.

“I conclude that the development of the site would result in the loss of an area of important open space.”
Also casting doubt over the proposed pedestrian crossing and that it could be “satisfactorily achieved within the available space with adequate sight limes,” she concluded, “I have insufficient information before me to conclude there would not be a likely significant effect on the Len Llyn a’r Sarnau SAC.”

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