Fears Anglesey could become coastline-for-millionaires ‘Little Manchester-by-Sea’
Dale Spridgeon, Local Democracy Reporter
Fears that Anglesey could become “Little Manchester-by-Sea” with a coastline “only available to millionaires” were raised during a planning meeting.
The comments were made by Councillor Carwyn Jones during a discussion over an application for the demolition, alteration and extension to a two-bedroom house at Llanddona.
Following a debate, Councillors agreed to make a second site visit to Tan Yr Allt Bach.
A full application had been received from Phil Smith, submitted through agent Richard Sandbank, of JAR Architecture & Design Ltd.
A council planning officer explained the plans would include the demolition of a UPVc extension, and to build a glass link single storage gabled entension, a new patio with storage and a two-storey building dormer window development.
The planning committee discussed whether the proposal complied with current policies, and if the development would have any negative impacts on the area or neighbouring properties.
The matter had been discussed at a planning meeting on October 5, and a virtual site visit had been made by committee members on October 19.
Concerns raised were over its location and design and the effect on the dark skies. it was also in an AONB – area of outstanding natural beauty.
The modern development would also be seen from Llanddona beach when the tide was low; it was considered ‘a significant’ development but acceptable in policy terms.
In a three-minute statement read by an officer on behalf of Mr Sandbach, the applicants said the renovations were soley to improve the house’s “amenity” and “aligned with their family needs,” as they had become grandparents earlier in the year.
They had also amended the plans following the consultation, and claimed the design principles and elements were “not detrimental” to the local community, and was a “modest” intervention.
However, the matter was reported to the committee at the request of three local members.
Councillor Alun Roberts argued there was a “strong feeling” about the development from all members of the local community council and residents who felt it was “detrimental to the village”.
It was on a “dangerous corner” meaning more traffic “affecting the highway network”.
There were concerns the property could be developed into two properties or used as a holiday home, it could create extra light pollution, and would have impact on nature in an AONB.
The road was also steep by the house, he said and there were already traffic issues reported with camper vans and that he felt officers had not addressed the AONB issue.
Councillor Carwyn Jones said the road was “awful” getting to the site for the site visit.
“If you could turn clock back, standing on the beach there you would have seen local houses, full of character, with small Welsh farmhouses there, my own grandmother lived along there.
“This before you today will transform the coastline of Anglesey and the Welsh heritage of local houses. This is going to be little Manchester soon; this is setting a precedent. It’ll be another Abersoch before we turn ’round.
“This will stand out like a sore thumb in an AONB, and as the councillor said, we are disappointed there are no comments on that.
“What we need locally in a place like Llanddona, like everywhere, is houses sustainable for the future, where local people can buy them to have families.
“If this was built and if it ever goes on the market, it will be a million-pound house, out of the reach of anyone working in the local area, in the local school in Beaumaris, Ena’s shop or serving in the Bulkeley.
“This would set a precedent that the coastline of Anglesey is being made for multi-millionaires, only they could afford the houses.
“Usually there would be no hope to build a new property on the coastline in an AONB like that, but if you put a glass link span like this, you can have two in one – I see this as an application to build a totally new house, with the excuse of a glass link span.”
He added he was concerned one part of the house could be used as a house and one part as holiday accommodation, and the impact on the dark skies, as Anglesey was considered one of the best areas in Europe for this.
Cllr Ken Taylor said he sympathised with what the councillors said. He added: “We have no idea this will be used as a holiday home in two or three years, all we can do it follow the planning policies.”
Cllr Robin Williams said: “I really do sympathise with the local members and community council but looking at this application, considering this is an extension replacing an existing building, many issues are raised are things we can consider, but have to work on the basis of policy.”
Site visit call
Cllr Jeff Evans requested a second site visit, at a time when it is seen by the public. He proposed a second site visit in person.
Cllr Ken Taylor said he “had seen all he needed in the previous visit” and added “The house was already sold at a high price”.
Cllr John Ifan Jones added: “The dark skies officer has expressed concerns and we haven’t received information from the countryside officer and AONB issue. So perhaps we can defer the application?”
The planning officer agreed it was “a fair point,” but added: “The relevant officer was expert Ed Henderson who had submitted comment, so I don’t think you would get a better response.”
But Cllr Jeff Evans insisted it was “appropriate” for a second visit was put that to the committee, seconded by Cllr Robert Llewelyn Jones.
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