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Eco-friendly Wombles-style earth home could be built at historic site

Bryn Mel Manor is located above The Menai Strait, opposite Bangor Pier (Pic: Anglesey County Council planning documents)

AN ECO-FRIENDLY Wombles style underground dwelling at a historic site near the Menai Strait looks set to come before Anglesey planners.

Plans for an up-market five bedroom ‘earth sheltered’  turf-roofed property at Bryn Mel Manor, near Llandegfan, Menai Bridge have been received by the council.

The mansion – immediately opposite Bangor Pier – was originally the home of the family behind the Titanic’s White Star Line, but is now converted into luxury apartments.

The manor was completed in 1899 for shipping magnate William Imrie, he and Thomas Ismay  built up the shipping line, which would later own the ill-fated Titanic.

The property was also known locally for many years as a nursing home.

Earth home planned for Menai Bridge (Pic: Anglesey County Council planning documents)

Now, Anglesey County Council has received an application for “a screening opinion for the erection of an earth sheltered dwelling together with associated access, car parking and landscaping,” on land at the site.

The applicant is listed as Philip Austin through the agent Neil Foxall.

A screening opinion helps developers get an idea of how likely an Environmental Impact Assessment will be needed before a formal planning application is submitted.

The initial plans describe a proposed dwelling built to the ‘Passive House’ standard which means it must meet a strict green criteria, including features such as robust glazing and insulation.

The plans state of the earth style shelter plan “to the best of our knowledge there have been no such properties built in Wales to date”.

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They added: “The vast majority of the dwelling will be built into the existing ground, with only the proposed roof, front wall and garage / parking being visible.

“The proposed roof will be intensively planted with turf meadow (or similar) and be graded back into the land scope to ensure that the dwelling respects the existing ground levels.

“Stone faced retaining walls, in keeping with existing structures, will be visible at the front of the proposed dwelling.”

The plans also stated: “The landscape strategy seeks to enhance the woodland setting of the site and to reflect the character of the surrounding landscape of Bryn Mel Manor.

“Existing trees will be retained and supplemented with native trees and swathes of wildflower meadow planting.”

An assessment concluded “the proposed development will only be visible from a select few locations within the northern part of Bangor on the opposite side of the Menai Strait.”

It also noted “that the proposed earth sheltered development at Bryn Mel Manor will not have a detrimental impact on the landscape character of the area”.

They added “combined with the addition of native tree and hedgerow planting highlighted in the landscape proposals, will enhance the setting and character of the proposals and Bryn Mel Estate over time”.