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Decision on £13m holiday park plans delayed due to ‘overdevelopment’ concerns

05 Oct 2021 3 minute read
Haven plans to-demolish these old chalets at Hafan y Mor in Pwllheli.

Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter

A decision to award planning permission for a £13m redevelopment of a Gwynedd holiday park has been delayed.

Meeting on Monday, officers had recommended that the authority’s planning committee should approve the proposals at Hafan y Môr near Pwllheli.

But with concerns raised over the scale of the plans – being described as “overdevelopment” by one councillor – members voted to delay making a decision until first able to visit the site for themselves.

Including the demolition of 56 two storey ‘Butlins’ apartments, the proposals also involve a new beach café including terrace and play area as well as fresh coastal defences.

Including 154 new static caravans, also proposed are two replacement buildings for staff accom-modation with the entire development spread over seven separate parcels of land.

Haven confirmed that 58 full time equivalent jobs would be created after the scheme was com-pleted, as well as over 200 building roles during construction.

The proposed new Beach Cafe at Hafan y Mor. Screengrab from Planning Documents.

Already employing over 400 workers, the firm added that all roles are advertised locally first.
But while the local member expressed his wholehearted support for the scheme, others cited the opposition of the local community council.

Llannor Community Council claimed that it had not been made clear how many additional statics were proposed, questioning the impact on existing caravan sites in the area as well as concern re-garding the re-routing of the coastal path on any public right to access.

The body also questioned how the development fit into Gwynedd’s plan for sustainable tourism.
But Cllr Peter Read, the county councillor for Abererch, welcomed the “modernisation” of the site and replacement of the former chalets, lauding the efforts of management while also welcoming proposed new jobs in the area.

“The workers and contractors are almost all local Welsh people, I’m very supportive of their ef-forts,” added Cllr Read.

Cllr Edgar Owen described Haven as a “good employer,” stating that employment must be availa-ble locally to keep people in the area.

Significant concerns

Cllr Simon Glyn, however, noted his “significant concerns” while describing the proposals as “overdevelopment.”

Questioning planning policy in terms of allowance to add more caravans, he added: “They want to extend the staffing quarters by creating 76 new units.

“Local people don’t need to live on site so its clear that if they want to build these that the inten-tion is to bring more workers from further afield.”

Cllr Louise Hughes described the proposals as displaying “colossal arrogance” and that “money talks,” claiming it was not possible for councillors to make an informed decision without being able to visit for themselves.

“Its at least six bigger than Llanegryn, where I live. When will they be satisfied, when it reaches Aberdaron?

“The Llŷn Peninsula won’t be Llŷn if we carry on like this.

“The pat on the head of offering, ‘yes you can have a job cleaning or waitressing’, just adds insult to injury.”

Despite some councillors raising reservations being held over a physical site visit due to covid – with none having taken place since the start of the pandemic – members voted to hold an in-person inspection pending the results of a risk assessment.

The application is set to be re-presented for decision next month.

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