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Plans tabled for unique underground dwelling at historic site with Titanic links

02 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Bryn Mel Manor is located above The Menai Strait, opposite Bangor Pier (Image taken from Anglesey County Council planning documents

Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter

Plans have been submitted for an eco-friendly Wombles style underground dwelling at an historic site with links to the Titanic.

Plans for an up-market five bedroom ‘earth sheltered’  turf-roofed property at Bryn Mel Manor, near Llandegfan, Menai Bridge have been received by the council.

The mansion – immediately opposite Bangor Pier – was originally the home of the family behind the Titanic’s White Star Line, but is now converted into luxury apartments.

Shipping magnate

The manor was completed in 1899 for shipping magnate William Imrie, who alongside Thomas Ismay, built up the shipping line, which would later own the ill-fated Titanic.

The property was also used as a nursing home for many years.

Now, Anglesey County Council has received an application for “a screening opinion for the erection of an earth sheltered dwelling together with associated access, car parking and landscaping,” on land at the site.

A screening opinion helps developers get an idea of how likely an Environmental Impact Assessment will be needed before a formal planning application is submitted

The initial plans describe a proposed dwelling built to the ‘Passive House’ standard which means it must meet a strict green criteria, including features such as robust glazing and insulation.

The plans state of the earth style shelter plan “to the best of our knowledge there have been no such properties built in Wales to date”.

They added: “The vast majority of the dwelling will be built into the existing ground, with only the proposed roof, front wall and garage / parking being visible.

“The proposed roof will be intensively planted with turf meadow (or similar) and be graded back into the land scope to ensure that the dwelling respects the existing ground levels.

“Stone faced retaining walls, in keeping with existing structures, will be visible at the front of the proposed dwelling.”

Woodland setting

The plans also stated: “The landscape strategy seeks to enhance the woodland setting of the site and to reflect the character of the surrounding landscape of Bryn Mel Manor.

“Existing trees will be retained and supplemented with native trees and swathes of wildflower meadow planting.”

An assessment concluded “the proposed development will only be visible from a select few locations within the northern part of Bangor on the opposite side of the Menai Strait.”

It also noted “that the proposed earth sheltered development at Bryn Mel Manor will not have a detrimental impact on the landscape character of the area”.

They added “combined with the addition of native tree and hedgerow planting highlighted in the landscape proposals, will enhance the setting and character of the proposals and Bryn Mel Estate over time”.

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Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
3 months ago

Who owns the site and who benefits from the development?

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