The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has submitted a formal objection to the proposed development on Nant y Gamar Road/Bodafon Fields. It is the latest development in this long running campaign, in which the Member previously convened a public meeting to provide residents and local stakeholders with a valuable opportunity to question those behind the development.
In a wide-ranging and critical six-page letter to the Head of Conwy County Borough Council’s Planning Department, Janet has centred on seven core objections:
- Local Housing Market Assessment (LHMA): Janet suggests the development under consideration conflicts with the LHMA, in particular the recommended mix of housing types, and that the apparent attempt to imply that local circumstances require this deviation is unreasonable because Wales-wide data has been used to try and demonstrate the need in Llandudno.
- Landscape: The site is a Registered Historic Landscape, with the Member finding it likely that the development may run contrary to the Principal Management Recommendation to ‘discourage urban sprawl eating into this countryside block,’ and potentially in conflict with the planning policy requirement to preserve and where appropriate enhance the historic landscape.
- Ysgol y Gogarth: Concerns have been raised that the development is not in line with the following requirement in DP/3, LDP: ‘Have regard to the impact on adjacent properties.' Janet is concerned about potential noise, disturbance, and nuisance that may be caused to Llys Gogarth, and that the residential facility which assists some of the most vulnerable people in our area will no longer have ideal conditions for each child and young person to succeed.
- Highways: Serious concerns have been raised with the Member about the impact the development would have on Nant-y-Gamar Road, and other highways in the area, including Fferm Bach Road, Tan-y-Bryn Road, and Bodafon Road. It has been suggested that based on highway related matters alone the development could potentially be in breach of a number of planning policy points.
- Parking: The letter outlines that STR/2 – Parking Standards, LDP, requires that ‘Car parking provision should be in accordance with the Council’s maximum standards, to reduce dependency on the car and to promote more sustainable forms of transport’. Having reviewed the drawings, Janet maintains that it is not clear that 81% of the properties have been allocated the maximum of 3 parking spaces.
- Children’s Playing Space: Whilst the applicant has attempted to demonstrate that there are exceptional and justified circumstances for failing to adhere to Policy CFS/11, LDP, and therefore proposed to provide and off-site contribution, Janet asks for careful consideration to be given as to whether the requirement of ‘exceptional and justified circumstances’ for the provision of a commuted sum as an alternative to on-site provision has been met.
- Historic Environment: GAPS have made a reasonable recommendation that a Geophysical Survey be undertaken. The applicant has agreed, and the survey was due to commence on 7 July 2021. Yet, the outcome of the survey has not been published.
The application for a new residential development, to be built on a contingency site, proposes the building of 49 dwellings, together with associated public open space, access on to Nant y Gamar Road, and the required on-site infrastructure. The letter notes that Llandudno Town Council have also recommended refusal of the planning application.
Commenting on her letter, Janet said:
“Our community is rightly proud of the exceptional care, education, and support provided by Ysgol y Gogarth. As I outline in my letter, I feel that there does exist a real risk that the development, in being so closely situated to the residential facility which assists some of the most vulnerable people in our area, could result in it impacting on the conditions which enable these young students to succeed.
“I have consistently been clear that any proposals must work in harmony with the existing infrastructure. It is well known locally that the volume of traffic on the Local Authority managed highways is high and potentially dangerous, something that this proposed development could only exacerbate further.
“I have no hesitation in suggesting that the estate would see an increase in the volume of traffic using Fferm Bach Road and Tan-y-Bryn Road. This is extremely concerning because, by approving the development, the Planning Authority would be enabling an increased use of a highway which does not have a pavement along its whole length and a blind corner.
“Combined with the potential lack of parking and children’s play facilities, there are now serious doubts over the reported benefits of this development. It is a concern that has consistently filled my email inbox and, sadly, the stakeholder meetings that I have been pleased to organise have not done enough to assuage my concerns.
“A significant number of the elected representatives of Llandudno – from Town Council to Senedd Cymru – are opposed to this development going ahead, leading us all to take unprecedented steps to emphasise the concerns of residents. I now request that the Local Authority Planning Committee stand with us and refuse permission for the reasons detailed in my letter.”
Notes to Editors:
- Please find a copy of the letter attached.
Photo: Bodafon Fields/Google