Agenda item

Applications Arising

7.1 – FPL/2022/60 – Former Newborough School, Pen Dref Street, Newbrough



7.2 – FPL/2022/173 - Lon Penmynydd, Llangefni




 7.1  FPL/2022/60 – Full application for the erection of 14 dwellings together with the creation of an internal access road and associated works on the former site of Newborough School, Pen Dref Street, Newborough


Having declared a personal and prejudicial interest in the application, Councillor John I Jones left the meeting during discussion and voting thereon.


The application was presented to the Planning and Orders Committee as the application is on Council owned land.  At the last meeting of this Committee held on 1st February, 2023 the application was deferred to allow for further statutory consultation on the information received as regards to pedestrian safety and highways information submitted by the applicant. 


The Development Management Manager reported that the proposal is a full application for the erection of 14 dwellings together with the creation of an internal access road and associated works on the former Newborough Primary School site at Pendref Street.  The land is located within the development boundary of Newborough as identified within the Joint Local Development Plan.  The proposal entails a semi-detached, terrace of 4 properties and flats with all units provided with designated parking and private amenity spaces.  No public open space will be provided within the site, however, there will be a need to provide a financial contribution towards informal and equipped play space which will be secured through a planning condition.  He further said that the site lies within the Newborough development boundary as identified in the Joint Local Development Plan and represents the site of the old primary school and therefore the proposal can be considered under planning policy TAI 3.  Criterion (3) with Policy PCYFF 2 seeks to ensure that proposals make the most efficient use of land, including achieving densities of a minimum of 30 housing units per hectare for residential development.  The density of this proposal is approximately 35 units per hectare which complies with the requirements of the Policy.  As the application is presented by the County Council’s Housing Department, the development will therefore be for 100% affordable housing which will comply with the requirement of planning policy TAI 15.  The indicative supply level for Newborough over the Plan period is 40 units (2011 – 2021), a total of 21 units have been completed.  This means that at present there is insufficient capacity within the indicative supply for the settlement of Newborough for this development and the applicant must justify that there is a need for this development.  Further information was submitted by the applicant to prove the need for this development in the area.  A Housing Need Survey was undertaken and the proposed mix does address the identified need as identified in the Housing Need Survey.  Since this proposal would result in an unexpected windfall site for a large scale housing development in line with Criterion (2) of planning policy PS1, a Welsh language impact assessment needed to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority.  It is considered that the impact upon the Welsh language will be comparatively low as the dwellings will be 100% affordable and the occupiers will remain local. 


The Development Management Manager further referred to Policy TAI 8 ‘Appropriate Housing Mix’ which seeks to ensure that all new residential developments contributes to improving the balance of housing and meets the identified needs of the whole community. Regards should be given to the Local Housing Market Assessment, Council Housing Register, Tai Teg Register to assess the suitability of the mix of housing in terms of both type and tenure proposed on development sites.  It is considered that the proposal can be supported on the grounds of need in the locality.  He further referred to the effect upon the amenities of neighbouring properties which has been highlighted in detail in the Planning Officer’s report and the impact of the proposal has been considered against relative planning policies and guidelines.  The Highways Authority has confirmed that they are satisfied with the proposed development with appropriately worded conditions and the need for the applicant to provide a Construction Traffic Management Plan prior to commencement of work on the site to ensure that the construction traffic will not impact the highway network and adjacent residential properties.  The proposal includes a tactile crossing point adjacent to the site as well as a tactile crossing point adjacent to the playground, this will ensure that children will have access to a footpath from the site which links to the playground, Ysgol Santes Dwynwen and the facilities in the village.


It was further reported that the Planning Authority were approached by Sports Wales following a complaint by a member of the public that they had not been consulted as regards to the reduction of the size of the play area due to this application and were therefore opposing the application due to the lack of information received.  However, Officers have explained to Sports Wales that the facilities have been transferred over the road to the new Ysgol Santes Dwynwen which is a much larger school.  It was noted that the local community has not lost a sporting facilities as the new school has playing fields and there is also a playing field at Parc y Plant.  The ‘5 aside’ pitch was demolished when the old primary school was demolished, therefore, when the planning application was presented, the pitch did not exist and the Planning Authority needs to assess the application as presented and on its own merits.  Sports Wales have now withdrawn their opposition to the application.  A financial contribution of £2,947.19 has been secured towards informal and equipped children’s play area as part of this application.  The recommendation is of approval of the application subject to the conditions within the Officer’s report.


Councillor Ken Taylor proposed that the application be approved as there is a need for affordable dwellings in the area.  Councillor Dafydd Roberts seconded the proposal of approval.


It was RESOLVED to approve the application in accordance with the Officer’s recommendation subject to the conditions contained within the written report.


7.2  FPL/2022/173 – Full application for the change of use of agricultural land to site 32 holiday lodges, reception building, construction of new vehicular access, construction of new on site roads, and parking areas and associated works on land adjacent to Lon Penmynydd, Llangefni


The application was presented to the Planning and Orders Committee at the request of the 3 local members due to local concerns as regards to traffic, noise pollution, ecology effect and the location of the proposal.   At its meeting held on 1 February, 2023 the Committee resolved to visit the site and a physical on site visit was conducted on 15 February, 2023.





Public Speakers


Mr Richard Lloyd Hughes, opposing the application, said that he was addressing the Committee on behalf of the residents who consider, in their opinion, that the development of 34 chalets on the Penmynydd Road should not be approved.  At the outset the residents, wish to contend that the proposed application does not fit in with the immediate surrounding area of Llangefni and the site is not fit for purpose; the topography is such that the land can be waterlogged and is subject annually to some degree of flooding which at times leads to the disruption of traffic along the road adjacent to the entrance to the site. The residents have witnessed such flooding over the last 30 to 40 years. The applicant's survey will have been undertaken over a specified period of time without the benefit of essential local knowledge.  To support the objection it is asked that the Committee give serious consideration to the following



1. The applicant's Transport Survey suggests that traffic is light along Penmynydd Road. This survey was undertaken during Covid 19 lockdown period which gives a distorted view of the volume of traffic. With a view to giving a more balanced assessment the residents undertook a vehicle count over a 9 hour period between 08.30am and 17.30 pm on separate days (prescribed 10 day period). During this time it was observed a 60% increase in volume of traffic compared to that in the applicant's Transport Survey. The residents would contend that such a volume of traffic is better described as at least moderate to heavy. In addition, professional advice was sought on the Transport Survey. The advice states that the survey does not comply with the standards required in the Council's policy TAN 18 (Transport) particularly in respect of visibility. Further details have been submitted in writing to the Planning Officer. It is appreciated that there is currently an entrance in situ but this is for infrequent agricultural purposes not constant heavy vehicle use.


2. Another document suggests there have been no accidents. Mr Hughes has personally witnessed three accidents and two near misses during the last 18 months on the roundabout nearest the proposed entrance. It is also noted that Penmynydd Road is regularly and constantly regulated for speeding by the Police Arrive Alive vehicle between the entrance to Coleg Menai and the aforementioned roundabout. It is believe that this fact supports our contention that the road is very busy and great driver care is required. We would further contend that any increased traffic and usage by drivers unfamiliar with the road will potentially lead to increased traffic offences and possibly accidents.


3. The applicant's Ecological Survey suggests that the effect on the environment will be minimal. We would disagree, in fact there is no mention whatsoever of the red squirrel population. Following the development of the link road and roundabout, ancient woodland has already been removed and hedgerows greatly reduced and destroyed. Consequently, this has had a significant adverse effect on much of the wildlife. For instance, owls are

no longer present and sightings of red squirrels and bats significantly reduced - this along a road which proudly and prominently displays a red squirrel woodland sign. The removal of more hedgerows in the vicinity will once again greatly disrupt and potentially decimate the squirrel and bat population they will have no method of travel between linked outcrops of woods.


Mr Jamie Bradshaw, applicant’s Agent, in support of the application, said that the Officers are supportive of this scheme after detailed consideration of all issues. As such, Mr Bradshaw said that he would not cover every topic, and would focus on what appear to be the key matters of contention.


● Claims of potential noise and disturbance are misplaced as the site is 189 metres from the nearest property and still further from others. The site is also low density and will be actively managed. The Officers are entirely satisfied on this point.

● Access and traffic - a new entrance is proposed that will provide good visibility in either direction, and the number of journeys is well within the road’s capacity. The Highways Officers has considered the submitted detailed technical evidence and that they are entirely satisfied. The traffic survey has been repeated and speeds are actually fractionally lower than during the lockdown period, therefore the road and entrance is satisfactory.

● Detailed work has also taken place to ensure that the scheme will be properly drained and will not cause issues either on or off site, and NRW, Welsh Water, and your Drainage Officers all agree that this is the case.

● Extensive ecological surveys have also taken place, with no protected species present within the site with only limited potential for impacts for animals moving around the trees and hedges set around the site’s edge. Those would be almost entirely retained, with extensive planting proposed that will mitigate for the scheme’s minor impacts and result in a biodiversity net

gain so the site will have higher value than it does now. Again, NRW and the Ecologist are entirely happy with the scheme.

● Indeed, building with nature and the landscape of the area is at the heart of the design, with the landscape approach and the high quality sustainable lodges ensuring that the site will not be widely visible. Again, the Landscape Advisor and Planning Officers are entirely satisfied.

● Some objectors have argued that the scheme does not comply with planning policy as it would extend the town. However, policy actually promotes sites such as this that are highly accessible and on the edge of towns as they are the most sustainable and offer the greatest economic benefits.

● Indeed, if approved, the proposal will employ 6 staff directly and many others through contracted work, and it is expected to contribute nearly £1 million per year to the local economy through visitor spend alone, which would be equivalent to employing over 50 people. This would be a substantial boost to Llangefni’s struggling town centre.

● The Applicant would also build out the site and lodges using local firms, with an expected spend of nearly £2 million to construct the scheme all retained within the local area.

● The Welsh Language impacts of the scheme have been assessed by ourselves and Officers, and it is clear that 32 lodges in a town of over 4,800 residents will have a very modest effect and this can be fully addressed through a Welsh Language Plan and other measures. Indeed, schemes such as this are well placed to divert visitors away from Air BNB to properly run sites that do not

take up local housing.

● All in all, the proposal before you entirely complies with the LDP, and is fully supported by Officers after detailed consideration, and there is no sound basis for departing from their professional and considered advice. Thus, a proper assessment of the issues clearly and heavily weighs in favour of approving this scheme.

● It is therefore respectfully requested that you support this application in-line with Officers advice.


The Development Management Manager reported that the application site is located in the countryside under the provisions of policy PCYFF 1 of the Joint Local Development Plan and the policy states that outside development boundaries development will be resisted unless it is in accordance with specific policies in the plan or national planning policies and other material planning considerations.  The main relevant policy in this instance is planning policy

TWR 3 (Static Caravans and Chalets sites) and there are 3 Criterions that need to be considered under this policy.  Criterion (i) requires that it needs to demonstrate that the proposed development does not lead to a significant intensification in the provision of static caravan, chalet or permanent alternative camping sites in the locality.  In this area of the west of Anglesey, the Capacity Study shows that there is capacity for a larger development as long as it has been well-designed, has been located sensitively and considers the effect on the environment.  Criterion (ii) of policy TWR 3 requires that the proposed development is of a high quality in terms of design, layout and appearance, and is sited in an unobtrusive location which is well screened by existing landscape.   He further reported that the Local Planning Authority has been working with the applicant to ensure that an effective landscaping scheme can be achieved.  Part of the existing bund/hedge at the front of the site will need to be removed and set back to ensure the site has the required visibility splay. To ensure an adequate landscaping scheme was achieved 2 chalets were removed from the proposal so that the applicant could plant an effective woodland to the northern boundary adjacent to the Penmynydd Road.  The proposal also includes tree planting around the site, wildflower meadow, amenity grass, infilling hedges where required as well as woodland planting to the rear boundary.  The planting scheme is achievable and will have a positive impact on biodiversity and ecology.  Criterion (iii) of policy TWR 3 requires that the site is close to the main highway network and that adequate access can be provided without significant harming landscape characteristics and features.  The access is also on the main highway network and is close to the new link road.  It is considered that the proposal conforms to policy Criterion (iii) and will include relevant Highways Conditions. He further said that it is considered that as the location of the site is sustainable on the outskirts of Llangefni and will be well screened it is considered that it complies with the requirements of policies TWR 3, PCYFF 3 and PCYFF 4. 


The Development Management Manager further reported that there has been a number of local concerns as regards to the drainage and flooding of the land on the application site. However, Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Water are satisfied with the development as it is not within the flood zone C2.  Gwynedd Consultancy has noted that there is no record of flooding on the site.  Due to the scale of the proposal it will be necessary for the applicant to provide an application to the SAB for approval prior to the commencement of any works on the site.  The proposal will be connected to Welsh Water’s public sewerage system and Welsh Water has confirmed that they are satisfied with the proposal to discharge into the public sewerage system.  He further referred to the concerns expressed during the site visit by a Local Member as regards to the access to the site and specifically to the speed of the traffic to the east and west of the access.  However, the applicant has submitted a Traffic Assessment and the results has shown that there is sufficient visibility from the site for the speed of the traffic passing the site.  A second Traffic Assessment was undertaken in February and the findings confirmed the original assessment the visibility was sufficient.  It was noted that the hedge at the entrance to the site will be cleared to ensure visibility from both sides of the road and especially as the entrance is near the roundabout which will slow the traffic from both directions.


The Development Management Manager referred to the other considerations as regards to this application and referred to the economic and employment benefit which would be equivalent to between 49 and 56 jobs.  The proposal would also support employment directly through employment of people and businesses at the site with 2 persons expected to be employed on a full-time basis and a further 4-6 on a part-time basis at the site in administrative and customer services roles.  In addition, further employment will also be supported and provided through other roles such as cleaning, site and building maintenance, and other such contracted work.   He further said that the developer has submitted a Welsh Language Statement to support the application which confirms that every signage and marketing will be bilingual.  The applicant acknowledges the importance of employing people who speak Welsh. The recommendation is of approval of the application subject to the conditions contained within the Officer’s report.


Councillor Jeff Evans expressed his dissatisfaction as to the limitation of time afforded to public speaking and 3 minutes seems to be a short time, and especially to a members of the public who wish to convey their points of view to the meeting.  The Chair responded that the limitation of time to 3 minutes is within the Constitution. 


Councillor Dylan Rees, a Local Member said that he was speaking on behalf of himself and his fellow Elected Members for the Canolbarth Môn ward.  He referred specifically to landscape, ecology and biodiversity as regards to the proposal and noted that the applicant has submitted a Landscape and Visual Assessment report which deals with the wider area of Llangefni and not specifically to the proposed application site.  He noted that the report at 4.3.5 and 4.3.6 refers to the local Nature Reserve at the Dingle, Llangefni and no reference has been made to the Red Squirrel habitat even though there are information boards highlighting the Red Squirrels’ population at the Dingle.  Councillor Rees further said that Red Squirrels’ are often seen at Lon Penmynydd.  He noted that he had contacted Dr Craig Shuttleworth from Bangor University who has been involved in the applied conservation of the native red squirrels in the UK and Europe and Councillor Rees read out correspondence received by Dr Shuttleworth on 2 February, 2023 to the Committee.  He further said that there is no mention of the Red Squirrels’ within the Ecological Report and therefore the application fails to meet Planning Policy Wales’ Technical Advice Note No. 5 on nature conservation and planning and the application should be refused on this matter alone.  Councillor Dylan Rees further said that he appreciated the comments that the limitation of 3 minutes for public speakers is insufficient and read out the remaining comments by the objector to the application as follows :-


Light pollution will also affect the bat population and it is understood that a recent planning application has had a restriction put upon it that lights must be turned off after a certain time in order to reduce the adverse effect on the bats.  The proposed development must meet TWR policy critera 3. This proposed development falls into the large scale class of between 26-200 units and would therefore need to show clearly that it fits in well with the existing built environment/urban land cover. It does not. The proposed development is outside the locally agreed development boundary. It is understood that development is outside a specified boundary is permissible in exceptional and essential circumstances. This was reluctantly accepted for the new road development which was deemed essential to reduce traffic congestion in

Llangefni. We would contend that this proposed development is not essential and the proposed site is not fit for purpose based on the aforementioned observations and facts.’


Councillor Rees reaffirmed that this is a large scale development which is outside the development boundary and he did not accept that the visual impact nor the environmental impact will be negligible and if the application was to be approved it would result in the rural outskirts of Llangefni becoming urbanised and this is why all 3 Local Members oppose the application.


Councillor Geraint Bebb said that during the site visit to the proposed application site that the land is flooded.  He further said that it is evident that there are local concerns as a total of 39 letters have been received in opposition of the application due to ecology, effect on the countryside and the Welsh Language.  The Llangefni Town Council is also opposing the application.  Councillor Bebb further said that he considered that the proposal is too near to Coleg Menai and Ysgol y Graig and extra traffic will entail from the new  extension to the school.  He considered that a new Secondary will be required in the next 10 years in Llangefni and this location would be suitable for such a development.   Councillor Bebb proposed that the application be refused.


Councillor Nicola Roberts said that the local residents of Llangefni do not believe that the application will blend into the community as the Town is a mix of the High Street, housing, industrial estate, two primary schools a Secondary School and Coleg Menai and the development proposed in an inappropriate area on the outskirts of the Town. Llangefni has been identified as an Urban Retail Area and the residents’ question how this developments fits into this definition.  She noted that the Ecological Report has not addressed the local nature species i.e. Red Kite and Red Squirrel’s.  The development of holiday log cabins will create additional noise and lighting pollution and can also create antisocial behaviour.   She referred that the application does not conform to planning policy PCYFF 3.


Councillor Paul Ellis, a Local Member said that he agreed with his fellow Elected Members that the site is unsuitable on the rural outskirts of Llangefni as it is on a pubic highway and near a roundabout.


The Development Management Manager addressed the comments by the Local Members and said that the applicant has submitted an Ecology Study which has been consulted upon and has been found to be acceptable by NRW and the Ecology Officer of the Local Authority.  He noted that the planting of trees and wild grasses will encourage nature and before any felling of trees and hedgerows an Ecologist will need to be on the site to ensure that no wildlife is within those hedges.  He further said that reference has been made to light pollution from the site, however the applicant would need to submit a lighting plan before commencement of the development as can be seen in Condition 6 within the report.  Reference has also been made that the application site is outside the development boundary, however, planning policy TWR 3 stipulates that it is not a requirement that such development needs to be within the development boundary as they are suited to be outside development boundaries.


Councillor R Ll Jones questioned whether the Local Authority were measuring the carbon emissions from such development.  The Development Management Manager responded that the measuring of carbon emissions is not measured but he said that solar panels will be erected on the roofs of the chalets and electric charging points will be available on-site.  The development has taken steps to mitigate the effects on the environment. 


Councillor Robin Williams ascertained as to whether the applicant is intending to sell the chalet individually and letting them out thereafter or whether they will be let out on a weekly or fortnightly basis.  The Development Management Manager responded that the application is considered within its planning mertis and land use perspective only.  Councillor Williams referred to a similar development within the Aethwy Ward with chalets being sold and people using them as second homes and some living permanently in the chalets.  He expressed concerns that this proposed development on Lon Penmynydd, Llangefni would be similar to the development in the Aethwy Ward.  He questioned as to the point of a development boundary if such developments are allowed to be built outside development boundaries.  Councillor Williams seconded the proposal of refusal of the application.


Councillor Dafydd Roberts said that he considered that the application was contrary to planning policy PCYFF 3.  He noted that the site will be visible from the highway all year round.  He referred that a condition will be imposed that a register will be kept to monitor who will be staying at these chalet, however, a similar development in Llanddaniel had similar conditions but by now more than half of those chalets have been sold and have received a Certificate of Lawfulness for year round residence.  Councillor Roberts considered that every developer of similar development should have a ‘dashboard’ to monitor who is staying at these chalets.


Councillor Jackie Lewis referred to the comments as regards to carbon emissions from such a development.  She noted that the planting of trees around the site will contribute to ‘carbon off-setting’. She further said that employment opportunities will be created from the approval of the development and will contribute to the local economy. 


Councillor Jeff Evans expressed that the development has its advantages and disadvantages to the Town of Llangefni.  He noted that such a development can have an impact on the Town and wildlife but it can also be beneficial to the area.  He further expressed that if the application was refused the developer could appeal the decision. 


Councillor John I Jones said that if the Traffic Survey was undertaken during the covid restrictions this does not give a clear indication of the traffic along the Lon Penmynydd.  He expressed that there is now an emphasis on people to be walking from such facilities rather than using their vehicles; he considered that this site was not sustainable for walkers to be waking from the facility as it is not near the Town centre.  He further said that whilst an Ecology Report has been submitted by the applicant, however, the Red Squirrel’s habitat has not been included nor addressed and he could not support the application.  


The Development Management Manager addressed the comments by the Members of the Committee and said that the purpose of planning conditions is to control such a development and specifically as regards to Condition (2) within the report.  He expressed that it is uncertain what will entail in the future as the Planning Authority does not have the resources to monitor whether people are living in these chalet on a permanent basis.  He considered that it is up to the local residents to report any breaches of conditions if the development is not operating in accordance with conditions imposed.  The Development Management Manager further said that if the application was refused and the applicant appealed the decision, the Planning Inspector would impose Condition (2) on any approval.  If the application is to be refused by this Committee a more valid reason for refusal would be required.  He further addressed the comments as regards to the Traffic Survey undertaken during the covid restrictions.  He noted that an additional Traffic Survey has been undertaken in February by the applicant and has resulted that the traffic passing the site is lower than during the covid restrictions.   He disagreed as regards to comments made that the development site was not sustainable, the developer will construct a footpath from the entrance of the site to an existing footpath.  He noted that the site is within a one and half miles from the Town centre of Llangefni. 


Councillor Ken Taylor proposed that the application be approved.  Councillor Jackie Lewis seconded the proposal of approval. 


In the ensuing vote, the proposal to refuse the application was carried.


It was RESOLVED to refuse the application contrary to the Officer’s recommendation as the proposal was deemed to be contrary to planning policy PCYFF 3 and the ecology report has not addressed the effect on the Red Squirrels habitat in the area.


In accordance with the requirements of the Constitution the application will be automatically deferred to the next meeting to allow the Officers to respond to the reason given for refusing the application.


Supporting documents: