“EXCITING” plans to expand Beaumaris’ leisure centre have been given the green light by planners.
An application for the alteration and extension of Canolfan Beaumaris was approved by Anglesey County Council’s planning committee on Wednesday.
The development comprises of a function suite, gym, cafe, soft play area, reception, library, office and storage space.
The existing town library will be absorbed into the new design.
The application, submitted by Beaumaris Town Council, states the leisure centre building is operated under lease from Anglesey County Council by Canolfan Hamdden Beaumaris a’r Cylch, a community group with charitable status.
The venue has multi-community functions for health and fitness, and other activities, and is a popular community hub.
The scheme was welcomed by Seiriol ward Cllr Carwyn Jones, who said there was “a lot of excitement” for the project.
Originally built in the 1990s the centre’s existing architecture was described in the plans as “reflective of that time”.
The modern upgrade describes improvements over 2.5 storeys and could provide up to six full-time jobs.
“The canolfan requires space for a number of new or extended functions to ensure that it can continue to serve the community,” the application stated.
“These include function space, cafe, health and fitness facilities, soft play area and the relocated library.
“There is also provision for much needed and rationalised storage, service, and office space.”
An open evening allowed locals to see the new design and hear a presentation.
Cllr Jones had attended, giving praise to Alwyn Rowlands, town councillor and chairman of Canolfan Hamdden Beaumaris a’r Cylch, and its vice-chair, retired Beaumaris doctor Stephen Macvicar, described as “two who work very hard in the area and have put in a lot of work into the canolfan”.
Clr Jones said: “We are all very proud of the work being done there locally…there was a lot of support during the evening and no objectors during the evening.
“There is a lot of excitement for what is being proposed.
“We saw the new reception design, and the library will be moved into the leisure centre, there is a new soft play area, new for the area, as well as facilities and consultation rooms.
“It’s a good blend, being proposed.”
He added: “There has also been a request for funding, it will play a key role for the welfare of local residents of Seiriol for decades to come.
“It is at the core of the community, it helps bring the area together and will provide essential facilities for years to come.”
The centre is an area rich with historical ‘assets’, and approximately 140 metres west of the town’s castle walls, which have World Heritage Site status.
Nearby is the 13th century Beaumaris Castle, a Grade I Listed Building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
It is also close to the Grade II listed 17th century David Hughes Community Centre.
A heritage impact statement described how any proposal in the “essential setting” needed to be “closely scrutinised”.
Before the plans were established, archaeologists had excavated three trenches in the area of development.
Work by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust (GAT) was commissioned by Felin Project Consultants.
Architects had worked closely with stakeholders including the canolfan, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Cadw and conservation specialists before the final design was agreed.
A heritage impact statement concluded: “The proposed extensions will have negligible visibility from the castle and will have no adverse impact on the significance or setting of the World Heritage Site.”