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Campaigners opposing 500-chalet holiday village boosted by public support

17 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Treath Penrhos. Photo by Carneddau is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Siân Williams

Campaigners who are battling against plans to build a 500-chalet holiday village in a nature reserve have seen an increase in public support for their cause at recent fundraising events.

In June Nation.Cymru reported that members of Cymdeithas yr Iaith (Welsh Language Society) and YesCymru now stand in solidarity with members of the Save Penrhos Coastal Park Holyhead group.

Back in December 2022 celebrities including Dafydd Iwan; Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams; broadcaster Carol Vordeman and actress Joanna Lumley also said they were backing the campaign to save the Penrhos nature reserve from developers.

In 2016 the developers behind the plans, Cumbria-based Land & Lakes, secured planning permission from Isle of Anglesey County Council to build what the company refers to as a ‘world-class leisure village’ on the 200 acre-park at Penrhos, Holyhead.

As well as erecting up to 500 chalets Land & Lakes have plans to build a tropical swimming pool, shops, restaurants and bars.

Hilary Paterson-Jones, who fronts the campaign to save the nature reserve from development, said  “offers of help are never ending”.

She said the group already has a legal team on the case, having originally turned to crowdfunding to raise enough money to employ a barrister. But unlike the Isle of Anglesey County Council, Mrs Paterson-Jones said campaigners don’t have the luxury of dipping into the public purse in order to defend themselves and therefore, fundraising efforts are ongoing.

“The offers of help are never-ending, I picked up a painting that was donated by a world-renowned artist from Anglesey Pat Singleton, a beautiful piece of work of a seascape at Moelfre she had just finished, usually sells from anything up to £1600,” she said.

“So many things have been given freely to auction off at the end of the month on our Penrhos Auction page.”

The campaign has also secured the support of pupils at Kingsland Primary School in Holyhead as well as other schools in the area who use Penrhos for their nature study.

Nature Reserve

The nature reserve was listed an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) back in 1967. It’s also a conservation area and parts of it are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Parts of the ancient woodland date back to the 1700s and is full of a variety of flora, fauna and wildlife. Red squirrels, bats, badgers, foxes and insects are amongst the many native species who live there.

The development threatens 27 acres of native woodland and in August of last year Penrhos was named the UK’s Favourite Park for 2022 following a public vote.

This was the first time a Welsh park had claimed the top spot in a vote organised by charity Fields in Trust.

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