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Controversial ‘eyesore’ flats plans at Aberystwyth marina set for approval

Ceredigion County Council

PLANS for an “eyesore” seven-storey block of flats at Aberystwyth’s marina are expected to get a cautious thumbs-up next week despite a long string of objections, including the town council.

An application for five two-bedroomed self-contained apartments of land directly between the Marina Flats at the Lanfa, Trefechan and the Pen yr Angor Road and the Maes y Môr development has been made by Mr J Ellis-Jones, is to be heard at the January 17 meting of Ceredigion County Council’s development management committee.

Members are recommended to defer the application for completion of a Section106 agreement regarding the provision of affordable housing and to approve the application subject to conditions, once the S106 agreement is complete.

A previous related application – for six flats – was refused in September 2021 on two grounds; the height of the proposal was out of character with its surroundings and the street scene and in conflict with [local development plan] policy; and that the planning authority had been unable to fully assess the application in relation to highway and parking arrangements; the potential impact on the West Wales Marine SAC and in respect of flooding concerns.

Aberystwyth Town Council has stated it strongly objects the 19.7m-high development on grounds including its height and size; it represents an overdevelopment of the site; the design is not in keeping with other neighbouring buildings; strong local objection; loss of green community land; the issue of land ownership; and flood risk.

A report for planners says there have been 54 objections to the scheme, raising a long string of concerns including its height, at just under 65 feet; a claimed lack of need for “luxury unaffordable flats”; “too much housing development going on in the immediate area”; “the proposed development being out-of-keeping with the immediate area”; “a loss of amenity and privacy issues to adjoining buildings”; and being “an overdevelopment”.

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Objectors have labelled the proposed development a “giant carbuncle” and “eyesore,” the report says.

The application is referred to the January committee at the request of the local councillor Endaf Edwards, raising issues similar to the objectors.

A report for planners says the site lies within the defined settlement boundary of Aberystwyth; the total requirement for housing delivery within the town as set out in the Local Development Plan is 1,877, with only 647 completed in the Urban Service Centre, leaving “capacity for a further 1,071 dwellings in Aberystwyth”.

As part of the affordable housing requirements, the report says the applicant is offering one of the units as affordable, meeting the relevant 20 per cent criteria for affordable units.

The report finishes: “In conclusion it is considered that the proposal is acceptable and can be supported.

“There are no material objections to the overall scheme, and it is recommended that the application be approved subject to conditions and subject to the completion of a S106 agreement regarding the provision of affordable housing.”

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