PLANS to develop holiday chalets in an Anglesey village were slammed as “ludicrous” amid fears the island was becoming a “playing area for visitors”.
Anglesey Council’s planning committee rejected plans to change agricultural land at Lon Fein, Dwyran into a holiday lodge site.
The proposals would have seen the development of 13 holiday lodges alongside the construction of a new road on site, alterations to existing access for vehicles and landscaping work.
Nine committee members voted against the plan during a meeting on Wednesday, despite planning bosses at the council recommending it be approved.
Bro Aberffraw councillor Arfon Wyn said the plan was “one of the stupidest application sites” he had come across, and said there had been 53 letters of objection.
He described “serious flooding issues” in the area and claimed the development posed “a risk” to homes.
He said it would also impact the AONB, the natural beauty and heritage of the area, sewage drainage and he felt there had been breaches of policy.
The plan was “so dangerous to this part of Anglesey” he said, and residents were “disheartened” after experiencing flooding.
“Over the years, it’s been seen in photographs in the media, people up to their knees in floodwater,” he said.
“This development could make things worse. It is ludicrous.”
He added that putting 13 wooden units at the site “won’t help this area at all, or the natural beauty,” and would only “benefit the developer”.
He said: “Don’t we have enough of these developments, or are we just turning this island into a playing area for visitors?
“There are three similar sites less than a mile from the site.”
Public speaker David Chadwick, senior flood warden with the Dwyran flood partnership group said there had been no sustainable drainage system report with the application.
“This is a surely of a huge importance in this flood area,” he said, adding that he felt it was “vital” it was prepared.
He also felt there could be an increase in greenfield run off which could “definitely be an issue” and claimed the soakaway from 13 lodges could also impact drainage systems.
Cllr John Ifan Jones, for Aberffraw, described objections from the local members and community council.
He said they were from “people who know their area”, adding: “It is just not a case of local people signing a petition, you have 53 letters sent in against this.”
He asked: “When are we going to start listening to people?”
He raised concerns over flooding, the narrowness of lanes, and the potential for traffic issues by visitors unfamiliar with the roads.
“Thirteen chalets although described as ‘small’ is quite a lot in my opinion in a field in open countryside,” he said.
Planning officer Rhys Jones said the site was not within a flood zone, the AONB and not visible from A4840, or other public area.
“So, I don’t understand those concerns,” he said.
It was also considered “a small scale development” and met planning policy.
He added: “Yes, we have had 53 letters of objection, but this application has been consulted on three times, a number are duplicates, they are not 53 separate objections.”
He “sympathised,” but said planners had to “go with evidence,” adding: “This site is outside the flood zone and the NRW [Natural Resources Wales] don’t object.”
The scheme would be considered by SAB (sustainable drainage approval body) but this was “not a part of the planning process,” but was a separate process.
Cllr Ifan Jones said he felt “it was like the horse being put before the cart”.
Cllr Williams thought members were being “pushed” to make a decision, a view shared by several other councillors.
It was proposed and seconded to go against the officer to reject the application in the vote.
The planning officer added: “If it was in a flood zone, we could ask for more details – they are confident they can get SAB approval – they don’t have to provide that information to the planning process, we have gone with the NRW view, and they are happy.
“It is not reasonable to ask the applicant to provide more information. SAB is not part of the planning process.”
“There must be enough chalets and caravans to house the whole of Anglesey by now,” added Cllr Robert Llewelyn Jones.
“It’s time we have a policy to say enough is enough, and support local hotels.”