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Safety notice issued to Gwynedd hotel where John Lennon and Yoko Ono holidayed

07 Jul 2023 3 minute read
The Corbett Arms in Tywyn (L) John Lennon and Yoko Ono (R) Photo by Eric Koch / Anefo is marked with CC0 1.0.

Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter

A former 19th century Gwynedd seaside hotel where John and Yoko once visited is back in the headlines – due to its dilapidated state.

Cyngor Gwynedd has issued a ‘Section 79’ notice to the owners of the Corbett Arms at Tywyn to carry out the necessary work to the historic building.

The serious step comes amid council concerns over protecting public safety. Due to its neglected condition, the once opulent building is now considered as being “seriously detrimental” to the amenities of the area.

The council’s building control officers had carried out emergency work in February 2023 under Section 78 of the Building Act, to make safe loose ridge tiles to protect the public. Dismayed residents in the coastal town had watched for years as the once bustling hotel fell into neglect.

First recorded in 1827, the three storey hotel, plus attics, lay at the heart of the town and symbolised the resort’s development in the 19th century. Among its famous visitors were Beatle John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who holidayed at the hotel with their children in 1969.

The condition of the listed building has been a concern to local residents for some time and the Council has been making efforts to urge the owners to carry out the necessary work.

Enforcement action

Recently, the council along with Welsh Government officers, had been working together to carry out appropriate enforcement action, forcing the owner to repair and restore elements of the building. However as this has not led to the required work being carried out, the Council has taken the step of issuing the ‘Section 79’ notice.

Martin Evans, building control manager at Cyngor Gwynedd, said: “As a council, we don’t take these kinds of actions lightly. But to ensure public safety, and to enforce the owner in taking action regarding the condition of the building, we feel there is no other option at this stage.

“It is unfortunate that things have come to this point, but property owners have a responsibility to make sure they take care of their buildings in the community. Before issuing a notice, officers make every effort to urge owners to complete the work required, engage with them to explain why the work is required and give time to complete it.

“But in this case, the owners have not undertaken the work and we had no option but to issue the enforcement notice.”

The owner will have six months to carry out the necessary work and has 21 days from the issue of the notice to appeal.

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9 months ago

As it’s a listed building it will probably either fall into such disrepair or catch fire in mysterious circumstances in both cases it will have to be demolished on safety grounds and planning permission for a block of flats or some other money making property will shortly be applied for, this seems to be the norm throughout the country.
The only way to stop this sort of rot is to refuse planning permission for any development for a minimum period of time and make the owners remove all debris and landscape the site

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