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‘We don’t want swathes of caravans on our coast’

25 May 2024 4 minute read
Static caravans in mobile home caravan park

Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter

A major holiday park plan has been turned down amid concerns over the “detrimental” impact it would have with “swathes of caravans” on a coastal landscape.

The Eryri National Park Authority’s planning and access committee rejected an application from Sunbeach Holiday Park, based at Llwyngwril, during a meeting on Wednesday, May 22.

Bosses at the park, which is located north of Tywyn and south of Barmouth, wanted to make changes to the existing layout.

An application outlined plans for a new site entrance with internal access road, amenity area and a redistribution of caravans.

They wanted a redevelopment within the existing holiday caravan site for 24 static caravans/lodges with landscaping, 12 static caravans/statics in lieu of a residential dwelling house, and three static/caravans, in lieu of an old site shop.


The proposal “did not entail an increase in the overall number” of caravans on the park, officers said, but the redistribution of 36 of 455 units “already consented”.

But members heard most of the application site was east of the Cambrian railway line, where there were presently no caravans.

The Sunbeach park, on 11.6 acres, formed following the amalgamation of two adjacent caravan sites, planning documents stated.

It was a “well established site,” operating 12 months of the year.

The application claimed the proposed improvements “would have positive financial impacts” on the local economy.

There would be “no adverse impact on the landscape or visual amenity,” it had stated.

Site-wide “environmental improvements” sought to “better integrate the surrounding landscape” by “fragmenting” formality of the layout, it said.

Documents said the proposal met policy, and there were “no adverse ecological or flood risk issues”.

The scheme would continue to “sustain and improve” part-time and full time employment.


But citing six points to refuse, officers said the plans offered an “unacceptable enlargement and extension of the caravan park” creating an “unacceptable impact on the landscape, amenities of the area and a nearby residence”.

“Beneficial” aspects of the proposal, officers had noted, were a “reduction in the density of caravans” and landscaping to the north of the site.

The plans would not see more caravans – but officers noted those being relocated were twin units – “bigger than the usual single units”.

There was “insufficient information” over protected species, and “significant” tree losses proposed were “not acceptable”.

Sunbeach Holiday Park (Image Google Map)

Archaeology firm GAPS had requested a geophysical survey to establish whether any archaeological remains were present on the application site – but the information had “remained outstanding”.

The application was rejected contrary to various policy rules. It had not provided “satisfactory improvements for the overall site and landscape setting”.

It “did not demonstrate exceptional circumstances for the extension to the caravan park, in relation to the proposed amenity area, and was contrary to policy.”

Elements of the proposed development to the east of the Cambrian railway line would have a “detrimental impact” on the character and appearance of the landscape, area amenities and a residence in proximity.

There was not “sufficient ecological information” in relation to protected species, and it entailed “significant tree losses,” and was considered “unacceptable on biodiversity and climate change grounds”.

There was no transport statement to show the proposal was acceptable on highway safety, convenience and sustainability grounds and it lacked an archaeological geophysical survey.

Proposing refusal, Cllr Edgar Wyn Owen said it was “too big,” seconded by Cllr Ifor Lloyd.

Cllr Louise Hughes added it had “been a long time coming”.


As a Gwynedd county councillor it was within her ward, and was “emphatically not a popular application in the local community”.

She said: “The site is already large enough, it’s very visible from the road, the community council is strongly against it and it’s intrusive in the landscape.”

She also highlighted road safety and the impact on residents.

“It won’t bring anything to the community, everything is on site, there’s a self contained shop, swimming-pool pub/club.

“I understand people want to expand their business, but what we all don’t want is swathes of caravans along the coastline.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 days ago

The rise and rise and rise of the caravan site, from little plywood boxes on wheels to massive camps. Great fun as a local lad meeting all those English girls but what a blot on the landscape. No more eh!…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Lyons are buying up all the old family sites around me !

Big business with plenty of say in what happens in Cymru…

Last edited 9 days ago by Mab Meirion
Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
9 days ago

Well done, the Eryri N.P.A. It was the right decision.

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
9 days ago

Not only have these sites grown like topsy over the decades the size of the caravans has grown too. Plus the latest being the added PVC verandas, covering even more ground.
I do not know how planning permission works with caravans but surely permission granted decades ago should not cover ever larger temporary structures and that renewed planning should apply when a caravan is replaced unless identical in size to the previous caravan?

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