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Plans to develop housing in Anglesey village approved despite local objections

Post Office, Holyhead Road, Gwalchmai (Pic: Google Map)

PLANS to build homes behind an Anglesey village’s Post Office have been approved despite “flowing sewage and flooding” concerns.

Plans to build two “affordable” and four “open market” homes behind the Post Office on Holyhead Road, Gwalchmai were approved.

The proposals, submitted by Amarjit Shoker, included the demolition of two outbuildings and the creation of new access to the properties.

The application had received 29 objections from locals and the community council.

Concerns were raised over traffic, access and the ability of the sewage system to accommodate “additional flows”.

At a planning meeting on Wednesday, March 6, local member Councillor Neville Evans said he was “very familiar” with the area and knew of drainage and flooding problems.

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Pipes were “old and broken” and drains “could not cope” during heavy rain and sewage, he said.

Cllr Evans said there was a “ditch which flooded”, which had been reported to the council a number of times.

He said “sewage” flowed into the road. Cllr Evans also queried affordability and privacy issues.

Public speaker Oswyn Williams said he represented the residents and community council of Gwalchmai, in opposition to the proposals.

Letters, photos and videos had been presented.

He described the access as “unsuitable and dangerous” noting residents parked on the busy A5 opposite the entrance.

He raised concerns about road visibility, and said that a storage unit set for demolition had an asbestos roof, the removal of a boundary hedge was “detrimental to wildlife” and windows would impact “amenity and privacy.”

He said there was an “accumulation of water” in the area, and described “blockages and waterflows”.

He said connecting homes to “this defective system would be irresponsible and unacceptable”.

Jamie Bradshaw, of Owen Devenport Ltd, spoke in favour of the proposals, and said “detailed consideration” of all issues had been made.

He said the proposal would “meet the needs of the community” for affordable and lower cost homes and were in an “accessible location”.

The scheme was “complimented” for its setting, and “good design” and was “well spaced out”.

Ecology and enhancements to address its “modest impacts” would be made.

The entrance would provide 45m visibility, the standard for 30mph, rather than 22m required for 20mph, he said.

He added that the movement of vehicles associated with the homes was within the capacity of the road, and said there was a “good level” of parking.

He said Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water had also noted there was “capacity” for the proposal.

He said the scheme “entirely complied” with the local development plan and was “fully supported by your officers”.

Cllr Bob Llewelyn Jones said: “As you know Gwalchmai is a Welsh speaking village, hopefully if this is passed today the people who will live there will be Welsh speakers.

“I don’t see anything with this to stop them from being built.”

Cllr Jeff Evans said: “We have a need for houses to be built across Anglesey, and for residential premises in Gwalchmai, there is a substantial demand for two and three bedroom dwellings.”

Cllr John Ifan Jones added: “There is no affordable home that is three bedroom.

“That won’t maintain a family or help the school”.

He said he he felt the homes were “stuffed in” and described the design as “troublesome”.

Planning officer Rhys Jones said it was on an appropriate brownfield site for development, within the boundary.

The recommendation was to approve, in line with conditions.

He said blocked drains did not mean there was “no capacity” for the development, and said Natural Resources Wales had “no objections”.

The application was passed, with a majority of five votes in favour.