Controversial plan approved to replace historic clifftop building above Pembrokeshire bay
Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter
A controversial plan to replace a historic building on the cliffs overlooking Ceibwr Bay has been approved following submission of a new application.
Plans to demolish and replace Pencastell had been refused by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park last year and a new – smaller – replacement dwelling was proposed, this time getting the go ahead.
Objections to the plan remained, and Nevern and Moylegrove Community Councillor Hedydd Lloyd said the new building would impact views of the area and “giving a message of bad planning,” calling the first plan put forward for the site “ludicrous.”
She asked that a “creative solution to retrofit” the existing house be found and highlighted that although similar in hight to the existing chimney there would be a glazed, gable end “jutting out” closer to the cliff edge.
Applicant Andrew Hebard said the majority of the remaining building was of “modern cavity construction” and little historic detail remained, with an engineers report indicating that refurbishment was economically unviable.
He said the new application was reduced in size from the previous application and not significantly higher than the original building’s highest point.
The replacement house includes a sunken garage, as well as four bedrooms, living room, garden room, dining room and study, with a mezzanine level at the southern end of the dwelling.
The disruption caused by construction was recognised and a project manager would be “sensitive to the area and working with neighbours.” A condition to ensure a detailed construction management plan was also imposed by the committee.
Local councillor Mike James disagreed with the officer conclusion that the development “will not cause an unacceptable or detrimental impact to the special qualities of the National Park,” highlighting the impact on the view from other areas of the north Pembrokeshire coast and the potential to damage the coast path itself.
Dr Rosie Plummer also raised concerns about light pollution and the effect on wildlife and Cllr Steve Alderman said it was a “shame to lose another vernacular building from a heritage area.”.
Delegated power of approval was granted to the director of planning and park direction subject to a number of conditions including a light mitigation strategy for external lighting.
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