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Powerboat dealer’s Abersoch cafe rejected amid concerns over lack of Welsh language name

06 Oct 2021 4 minutes Read
ALS had submitted plans for a cafe bar on its existing forecourt, citing plans to move away from petrol filling station use. Screengrab from planning documents.

Gareth Wyn Williams, local democracy reporter

Plans to build a new cafe bar to replace an Abersoch petrol forecourt have been rejected by Gwynedd Council planners, amid concerns by the Town Council about a lack of a Welsh language name for the development.

Powerboat dealer Abersoch Land and Sea (ALS) had submitted plans for an eating and drinking spot on its existing forecourt, citing plans to move away from petrol filling station use.

According to planning documents the Town Council “expressed disappointment that there was no intention to have a Welsh language name for the business and did not believe that fair consideration was given to the Welsh language.”

Developers had promised two new permanent and two temporary jobs in the holiday home hotspot, with accompanying images suggesting that the site would be named ‘Apres Soleil’.

The proposals, which did not reach planning committee stage, would have seen the new cafe replace the existing petrol pumps.

But according to the planning officers’ report, objections had been raised by Llanengan Community Council due to concerns over the suitability of the entrance between Lon Garmon and Lon Pont Forgan, also questioning the sale of alcohol at a site promoting maritime activity.

Also citing fears over more noise and litter, community councillors raised disappointment that no Welsh name was put forward for the business.

A further public consultation also attracted similar objections, with others questioning the need for another business of this type in the village.

The supporting statement submitted by Willcock Consulting had noted: “The petrol filling station use (originating from the previous Royal Garage) has gradually declined and is now mainly for the refuelling of boats, jet skis, etc.

“It is soon to be discontinued from this location.

“Likewise, business changes over the last 12 months now question whether the most beneficial use of the forecourt (once the fuel pumps are discontinued) should be as a continued boat sales area, both in terms of the business and also to complement tourism within Abersoch.

“Consequently, ALS considers that a more useful and vibrant use for the front half of the forecourt would be for a small cafe bar to replace the existing open display and fuel uses which would work well in conjunction with the existing business but also serve the needs of holidaymakers (and local residents), especially those already using ALS’s marine services.”

‘Conflict’

But planning officers, with the application not reaching planning committee stage, fell on the side of objectors after noting a lack of proof showing a need for a new commercial unit at the site, as well as its location within a C2 flood zone.

“The development is likely to increase the use of the site by pedestrians and would result in increased conflict between pedestrians and vehicles in areas where there is insufficient provision for the protection of pedestrian safety,” their report went on to state.

“In addition, the proposed parking arrangement is inadequate for the site and is likely to lead to the relocation of parking off-site thus increasing the likelihood of inconvenience and danger on the highway.

“All relevant planning issues have been considered in determining this application but have not changed the recommendation to refuse the application.”

Abersoch has already been the site of conflict for Gwynedd Council in the past few weeks as language campaigners condemned the decision to close a Welsh language school there.

Despite receiving 211 objections and two petitions opposing the proposal to close Ysgol Abersoch at the end of this year, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet today unanimously voted to close the school on 31 December.

The Education Department had expressed concerns about the low numbers of the school, with 76% of the school capacity empty.

But the decision has been criticised by groups including Cymdeithas yr Iaith, with spokesman Ffred Ffransis describing the authority’s approach as “blinkered” and that Abersoch was already suffering from a holiday home problem.

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Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
16 days ago

Excellent!
I live in a part of Swansea where there are very full Welsh language schools, active Urdd and Welsh can be heard in the streets, shops and pubs.
The latest housing development rejoices in the lovely Welsh name of “The Poplars,” matched only by a nearby development “Mansion Gardens.”
This really has to stop!

Big Dexter
Big Dexter
16 days ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

If a council in England refused planning permission because the name was not in English there would be uproar. They would be accused of being racist. What’s the difference?

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
16 days ago
Reply to  Big Dexter

The English language is not in danger.

Chris Priest
Chris Priest
16 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

The English language isn’t neglected by inconsiderate incomers either.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
16 days ago
Reply to  Big Dexter

The English language is not in danger, that is the difference.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
16 days ago
Reply to  Big Dexter

Come off it, if the situation were reversed i.e. if 20% of the population were of Welsh origin, if they refused to speak English, refused to teach their children English, moaned about road signs in English, wanted all the schools to teach through Welsh instead of English, bought up all the property and priced the English out of the property marked and if they renamed everything in sight with a Welsh name the English would be the first to cry racism an you know it. Perpetrators playing the victim, it is truly pathetic.

Hedda Mulgrew
Hedda Mulgrew
14 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

That is what 80% of the population does now.

The biggest numbers of non Welsh speakers are the Welsh.

John Brooks
John Brooks
15 days ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

It wasn’t rejected because it didn’t have a Welsh name, it was rejected for other reasons. Also it didn’t have an English name either, it was French.
Besides the more important story in the article is the unanimous vote to close Ysgol Abersoch Closing schools is a factor in making areas unattractive to young families and helps fuel the second/holiday home boom. Nation Cymru and its readers would be better venting their anger at this rather than a business wanting to sound exotic by having a French name.

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
15 days ago
Reply to  John Brooks

Why was the school closed, think about it? Because second homers and holiday letters have no need for the school and local families can’t afford to live in Abersoch or any of the other Welsh communities now over-run by holiday homes!

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
16 days ago

Great, right decision to reject it.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
16 days ago

Why do my comments disappear? I didn’t write anything offensive.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
15 days ago

Excellent news.

John Brooks
John Brooks
15 days ago

It wasn’t rejected because it didn’t have a Welsh name, it was rejected for other reasons. Also it didn’t have an English name either, it was French.
Besides the more important story in the article is the unanimous vote to close Ysgol Abersoch Closing schools is a factor in making areas unattractive to young families and helps fuel the second/holiday home boom. Nation Cymru and its readers would be better venting their anger at this rather than a business wanting to sound exotic by having a French name.

j humphrys
j humphrys
15 days ago
Reply to  John Brooks

Fair enough, though if you have been looking, there has been great anger against the school closing in the comments. Very frustrating, John.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
15 days ago

Why Is Abersoch Land And Sea, ALS? Shouldn’t it be ALAS? As in ‘Alas, I cried. My application’s denied’

Grayham Jones
15 days ago

All business in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 must be run by welsh people only stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Allan Sumara
Allan Sumara
15 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

All businesses in Wales should be run by immigrants from the third world who will work harder and create jobs for Welsh people

More immigrants in Gwynedd.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
15 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sumara

Diolch yn fawr am eich cyfraniad. Your suggestion will be considered in an independent Cymru.

Hedda Mulgrew
Hedda Mulgrew
14 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

One day you will do the whole sentence maybe?

Hedda Mulgrew
Hedda Mulgrew
14 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

You haven’t done future tense yet!

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